5 Great Examples of Successful Amazon Affiliate Websites (2017 Edition)

Looking for some good examples of successful Amazon affiliate websites?

You've come to the right place.

In today's post, I'll share with you ​my detailed analysis of 5 highly profitable Amazon affiliate websites...

... including my key takeaways so that you could apply them to grow your own online business.

​And since this is the 2nd edition of this post - I decided to make it even more comprehensive by adding 9 more examples of successful websites monetized with other affiliate programs.

Let's jump right in!

More...

THEWIRECUTTER.COM

Niche: Gadgets, gear, and electronics reviews

The WireCutter was founded in 2011 by Brian Lam, a former Editorial Director at Gizmodo, when he was so fed up with the advertising model of traditional media empires.

Here's what he said in an interview a few years ago: "I was tired of doing posts that were obsolete three hours after I wrote them. I wanted evergreen content that didn’t have to be updated constantly in order to hunt traffic. I wanted to publish things that were useful.”

Today, The WireCutter focuses on doing intensive testing and research to create in-depth and useful product buying guides to help readers pick the best products in a wide range of categories.

The 5-year old affiliate website was reported to be acquired for over $30,000,000 in cash ​by The New York Times in October 2016.

The Wire Cutter

KEY NUMBERS:

INDEXED PAGES

1290

REFERRING DOMAINS

11.4K

MONTHLY VISITS

8.60M

FACEBOOK FANS

43K+

TWITTER FOLLOWERS

61.1K

PINTEREST FOLLOWERS

2.3K+

CONTENT STRATEGY:

  • The Wirecutter’s success is obvious once you read any one of their reviews. They do fun tests with products that are so good, they have a very high chance of going viral in each space.
  • For example, their review of best earbud headphones under $40 is on such another level that all content creators should use The Wirecutter as the premier example of what a product review piece should be.
  • I’ve never seen a product review, or any blog post for that matter, with over 750 comments!
  • It looks like they start by reading reviews on Amazon and other major online marketplaces to narrow down the best products of a category and then they actually buy them to run their own tests to come to their own conclusion.
  • As seen in another example of the Best Photo Printers, this allows them to create much better, in-depth content than all of their competitors. And it works.
  • The Wirecutter has over 11.4k referring domains and are just about dominating Google for every “best [product]” search terms in the gadgets and electronic space.
  • They have expanded by starting a sister site, The Sweethome, that is also doing just as well for home focused products.

TRAFFIC SOURCES:

MONETIZATION STRATEGY:

The Wirecutter is upfront about how they make money, which builds trust with their audience through transparency. They mostly make money from Amazon’s Associate program, but also use affiliate programs from various other retailers and Skimlinks.

Here are some monetization tactics they use:​

  • They always include a “callout” of their best picks and runner ups towards the top of the article for people who want the info fast and then get into the table of contents and more details
  • They use quite a lot of in-content affiliate links to the recommended products throughout the article.
  • They also include a callout of their best pick at the end of the review

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Actually testing products gives the ability to create much better content than most other niche sites allowing better opportunities for getting links, traffic, and conversions
  • Always doing quality, in-depth reviews builds trust with your audience and significantly helps improve conversions.

Note: Want The Ultimate List of Profitable Amazon Affiliate Niche Ideas? Download this FREE report and discover the niche(s) that could put an extra $1000-$3000 into your pocket every month! Get them here.

LUCIESLIST.COM

Niche: Baby product reviews

Lucies List Logo

I discovered Lucie's List in late 2015 and was super impressed by how fast they were able to grow their content and traffic.

The site uses a very good silo structure that definitely helps a lot to achieve high rankings for some of the biggest keywords in this niche.

The marketing team behind the site has also done a very good job at promoting the site. They have successfully secured mentions and link placements on some of the top general and industry specific publications.​

Lucie's List

KEY NUMBERS:

INDEXED PAGES

407

REFERRING DOMAINS

1.02K

MONTHLY VISITS

213.80K

FACEBOOK FANS

91K+

TWITTER FOLLOWERS

7K+

PINTEREST FOLLOWERS

20K+

CONTENT STRATEGY:

  • Lucie’s List first started getting popular from the newsletter, called “Crib Notes.” As soon as you open the site, you’re greeted with a popup to subscribe to the newsletter.
  • In addition to the name and email, she asks for the baby’s due date/actual birthday so she can send more timely and relevant content to the subscriber.
  • These three reasons, coupled with good content, are why the newsletter is so popular and her biggest channel.
  • You can browse through the archives of her newsletter to see the type of content that’s posted there. Lucie’s List really takes advantage of timing content based on the stage the mother is in to offer better content. Many of the emails are strictly info and value with product emails sprinkled in.
  • In the main nav bar, you’ll discover she has content and buying guides for each stage a woman and her family go through when having a child - baby shower registry, postpartum, infants, toddlers, and a special page for twins.
  • The post on baby strollers seems like the most in depth product post on her site and even then doesn’t go into as much detail or have as nice as visuals as the other authority sites above.
  • Despite that, there are a lot of product review posts and most of them are located in the Gear Guides page linked in the nav bar for quick access from any page.

TRAFFIC SOURCES:

MONETIZATION STRATEGY:

Lucie’s List is monetized with affiliate programs from Amazon, Diapers.com, Giggle, and more. In her earnings disclaimer, she mentions she strictly relies on affiliate commissions to avoid publishing sponsored posts and it doesn’t look like there are any ads on the site.

Both of these tactics are great for building a strong community. Additionally, she has an ebook for sale with a link in the main nav bar.

Here are some monetization tactics they use:​

  • Publishes valuable info to build credibility and then product reviews to make money
  • Monetized only by affiliate commissions and an ebook
  • Produces tons of quick product review posts for a wide reach.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Putting yourself in the journey of your audience from problem to solution provides opportunities to give value and sell.
  • Being relatable helps build trust and credibility
  • Using testimonials from readers about the newsletter next to the opt-in box probably helps increase conversions

OUTDOORGEARLAB.COM

Niche: Outdoor gear reviews

Outdoor Gear Lab Logo

Outdoor Gear Lab (OGL) has been around since 2010 and it's one of the biggest and most trusted place for outdoor product reviews.

Like The WireCutter, OGL has a very intensive testing process to review and pick out the best products to recommend for their audience which is described in detail here 

Outdoor Gear Lab

KEY NUMBERS:

INDEXED PAGES

5500

REFERRING DOMAINS

3.69K

MONTHLY VISITS

1.60M

FACEBOOK FANS

10K+

TWITTER FOLLOWERS

4K+

YOUTUBE FOLLOWERS

17K+

CONTENT STRATEGY:

  • At first glance, OutdoorGear Lab looks like an eCommerce store with a ton of categories on the homepage, but when you click on one, you’ll see it’s a full fledge niche site dressed up in a pretty outfit.
  • For example, when you click their post on Best Ultralight Backpack Review, you’re immediately greeted with a table comparing different products with a more detailed review of each one below it.
  • Interestingly, their review has five unique pages on different URLs: The overview with the table and detailed reviews of the five best products, a ratings page with a full table of all products, a page with a price vs. value plot chart, buying advice, and a “how we tested” page. This is a ton of content around a single, niche product category.
  • It was very difficult to find the link to buy any of the products in the review. In the main table at the top of the overview page, there is a plain text link below the price on some of the products that says “compare at [x] sellers.”
  • This link takes you to another page with a table comparing the price at various retailers where you can finally buy. Back on the main review page, when you click a product expecting to be taken to Amazon, you’re taken to an even further detailed review with the only “buy” links being “compare prices at [x] sellers.”
  • This is important because they’re doing it on purpose. There aren’t “buy now” links all over the place, because OutdoorGear Labs is focusing on content and gaining the user’s trust in order to build a community for long-term success.

TRAFFIC SOURCES:

MONETIZATION STRATEGY:

OutdoorGear Labs isn’t focused on making as much money as possible. Their affiliate links are somewhat difficult to find. As evident by the ability for users to create an account and write their own product reviews in the comments, they see more value in building a community than making a quick buck.

Here are some monetization tactics they use:​

  • They don’t abuse affiliate links. Make them somewhat hard to find to build trust
  • They aren’t married to a single affiliate partner. They give their users the option to choose from around six retailers
  • Low amount of ads on the sidebar to make extra revenue while keeping the site clean

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Focusing on content and building a community can lead to bigger opportunities
  • Presenting themselves as an eCommerce store/authority site than “just a blog” increases credibility
  • Limiting the number of “buy” links can potentially increase engagement in other areas such as shares and comments

SNAPSORT.COM

Niche: Digital Camera Comparison and Reviews

Snapsort Logo

I'm really excited to show you this site because Snapsort is so different from what most people think of when it comes to building an affiliate website.

The site uses a data-driven approach to produce their review and comparison content​. Most of their pages are less than 1000 words but they still rank very high for their targeted keywords.

What they do essentially is gathering specs and features of digital cameras on the market and then use that data to generate side-by-side comparison pages like this one

This is opposed to the common approach of creating in-depth and long-form content that most people follow.

Snapsort

KEY NUMBERS:

INDEXED PAGES

1,730,000

REFERRING DOMAINS

4.1K

MONTHLY VISITS

1.60M

FACEBOOK FANS

71K+

TWITTER FOLLOWERS

5.6K+

PINTEREST FOLLOWERS

N/A

CONTENT STRATEGY:

  • Snapsort is building a brand by being different than other camera review sites. You can tell their site was custom designed, which adds credibility and trust for the user and are therefore more inclined to buy based on their reviews.
  • They publish reviews of various digital cameras and navigating the site is easy to find what you’re looking for.
  • Using their “popular recommendations” section sorted by category makes it easy for people to find a camera based on their needs and ultimate goal of a camera.
  • Arriving at an actual review, for example the Nikon D750 review, you’ll see that their reviews are not that complex. Snapsort likes to use the camera’s features as the main review criteria.
  • What’s interesting though is they compare these features to other cameras in its class in order to give a more accurate rating, which is a great way to rate technology.
  • Their camera vs camera pages also attract a ton of search traffic by ranking highly for thousands of keywords like "camera t3 vs t3i".
  • To attract international traffic, they provide the ability to translate the site into a total of 6 different languages.
  • Also, you can change the prices that displayed to 11 different currencies and the affiliate links change to the selected country.

TRAFFIC SOURCES:

MONETIZATION STRATEGY:

Users have the choice to buy the products through affiliate links to Amazon, B&H Photo-Video, and/or Adorama. They automatically change the affiliate links based on the selected country as well for further optimization.

Here are some monetization tactics they use:​

  • Affiliate links to three different online retailers giving the user the choice where to buy
  • Automatically switch links based on selected country (11 available)
  • They also accept advertising requests in various forms to supplement affiliate income

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Translating your site into multiple languages can boost income overtime
  • Using custom graphics or illustrations builds branding and credibility
  • Not all products can be rated the same. Finding a good way to rate and compare products can help make the user make a better choice and therefore buy
  • You don't always need to create long-form written content in order to rank high in Google. What's more important is the ability to serve the users with exactly what they want.

Note: Want The Ultimate List of Profitable Amazon Affiliate Niche Ideas? Download this FREE report and discover the niche(s) that could put an extra $1000-$3000 into your pocket every month! Get them here.

THISISWHYIMBROKE.COM

Niche: Fun gifts and viral items

This Is Why I'm Broke LOgo

Born on Reddit, This is Why I’m Broke is the epitome of what good branding and marketing can do for a niche site. This is Why I’m Broke came from the Fry from Futurama meme, “Shut up and take my money” and it’s subreddit.

This is Why I’m Broke pretty much curated the products posted there into a separate site and then started finding their own products to add.

Eventually, people were posting links from This is Why I’m Broke to that and other subreddits, which gave them enormous amounts of traffic.

Coupled with a good domain name, This is Why I’m Broke became synonymous with interesting and odd items that people buy, but don’t necessarily have a lot of use for.

The clever name and interesting curation of products gave them the ability to build a sustainable site without relying completely on Reddit.

This is Why I'm Broke

KEY NUMBERS:

INDEXED PAGES

37,000

REFERRING DOMAINS

6.16K

MONTHLY VISITS

2.70M

FACEBOOK FANS

320K+

TWITTER FOLLOWERS

10.5K+

PINTEREST FOLLOWERS

20K+

CONTENT STRATEGY:

  • On the site’s homepage, you can immediately start browsing products.
  • Some products are only reviewed in a few sentences and don’t have their own page on the site while some do.
  • The links go right to either Amazon via an affiliate code or another site with an affiliate code if applicable. Prices can range from as little $0.75 to $200 million (the Playboy Mansion) - the only thing that matters are if the product is interesting in order to keep you browsing on the site.
  • This is Why I’m Broke also has a variety of category pages. And because of all the links and press they receive, they have the ability to rank for very competitive search terms, such as “gifts for men” where they rank #2.

TRAFFIC SOURCES:

MONETIZATION STRATEGY:

This is Why I’m Broke uses affiliate links for monetization and no advertisements. They also use affiliate links with other retailers and some products have no affiliate link if they’re interesting enough to be posted.

On the homepage, there is a large banner with “deals of the day” that takes you straight to Amazon’s deals of the day page.

Here are some monetization tactics they use:​

  • Affiliate links with Amazon and other retailers, but not all products use affiliate links
  • Big banner on homepage that is an affiliate link to Amazon’s deals of the day page
  • Some product names go straight to Amazon or the retailer is they don’t have a review yet

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Good branding can turn a niche site into an internet phenomenon
  • Finding a way to get a lot of press can result in a lot of powerful backlinks
  • Using other methods of promotion and traffic generation than SEO could end up helping rankings in the long run

Want More? Check Out These 9 Successful Websites Monetized With Other Affiliate Programs.

SMARTPASSIVEINCOME.COM

Niche: Blogging, passive income, and online business

Smart Passive Income

Almost everybody here knows about Pat Flynn and The Smart Passive Income blog.

Pat became one of the first major bloggers on passive income business models and niche sites by being completely transparent with his tactics, URLs, and the income he earned from each project.

Although Pat now has multiple income streams from advertising, sponsorship and his own products, a large percentage of his income in the beginning and over the years is through promoting other people's products.​

I decided to include ​Smart Passive Income in this post just to remind and show you what's possible when you truly become an authority in your market.

Smart Passive Income

KEY NUMBERS:

INDEXED PAGES

3,100

REFERRING DOMAINS

10K

MONTHLY VISITS

883.8K

FACEBOOK FANS

136K+

TWITTER FOLLOWERS

143K+

YOUTUBE FOLLOWERS

73K+

CONTENT STRATEGY:

  • Since the beginning, Pat has been updating his blog pretty regularly with fresh content every week sharing his progress and lessons learned while building his own online business.
  • One of his first major successes was the Niche Site Duel he did with a few other bloggers in 2010. Working with others on one project helped Pat get exposure from the other bloggers’ audiences. Plus, the content of the Niche Site Duel was so good it attracted tons of new traffic for him and helped solidify his place in the blogging world.
  • Around the same time, Pat started the Smart Passive Income Podcast. He has revealed the podcast is now the number one driver of new subscribers to his brand. Pat’s mantra is to “be everywhere” and has used this idea to grow his audience very rapidly.
  • He also has a YouTube channel he updates weekly, has self published multiple books, and is a sought after speaker.

TRAFFIC SOURCES:

MONETIZATION STRATEGY:

Luckily for us, Pat publishes all the sources of his income in very detailed monthly income reports.

In March 2017, Pat made $258,737.45 with a profit of $212,117.09. In specific, Pat makes most of his money as an affiliate recommending marketing products with Bluehost being the most lucrative. He also launched 2 new courses in March which contributed more than $150,000 to his total revenue.

Here are some monetization tactics they use:​

  • He publishes product reviews and do affiliate promotions to his email list.
  • He also create in-depth video tutorials teaching specific online marketing tactics while demonstrating the tools that he uses on-screen.
  • Pat has a dedicated resource page in the main navigation for his top affiliate products
  • The income reports, which are some of his most popular posts, contain affiliate links
  • Pat is now focusing more on making new software products for his audience as an additional income stream

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Being the #1 expert in a niche can be extremely lucrative when you earn your audience’s trust.
  • Putting out content in multiple channels increases your chance of success
  • Leverage relationships with other bloggers and authority sites to build your audience
  • Diversify your monetization strategy for consistent income and growth
  • Don’t be afraid to put yourself front and center, be relatable, and give a good reason why your audience should follow you

THESWEETSETUP.COM

Niche: App reviews for iOS and macOS

Smart Passive Income

The Sweet Setup is most likely the biggest and best iOS app review site with publishing several articles per week.

Similar to The Wirecutter, The Sweet Setup focuses on carefully targeting keywords like “best [product],” but for the app industry.

As you can see from their Popular page, they target categories of apps like best journaling apps, photo editing apps, Twitter apps, email apps, etc.

Smart Passive Income

KEY NUMBERS:

INDEXED PAGES

1,440

REFERRING DOMAINS

1.43K

MONTHLY VISITS

703.60K

FACEBOOK FANS

70

TWITTER FOLLOWERS

9,440

YOUTUBE FOLLOWERS

N/A

CONTENT STRATEGY:

  • Their most shared piece of content according to Buzzsumo is their post on The Best Gif Keyboard for iPhone (interestingly, they don’t display social share counts and they don’t accept comments).
  • They immediately reveal their best pick at the top of the article and then go into the methodology of how they tested each app to build trust and credibility.
  • Using screenshot comparisons to make their post more visually appealing, they’re able to show how they came to their conclusion.
  • Where it makes sense, The Sweet Setup will also use premium guides to collect emails as they do for their post on the Best Photo Editing App, which is a smart way to build subscribers who will also be interested in other apps they review in the future and to get traffic back to the site.

TRAFFIC SOURCES:

MONETIZATION STRATEGY:

The Sweet Setup uses affiliate links for the iTunes store to generate revenue and they also offer site sponsorships.

Their Advertise page reveals that they make $500 a week on sponsorships, which include a sponsored blog post, Twitter promotions, inclusion in their weekly newsletter, and a few other perks.

Additionally, they offer the purchase of two sidebar ads for $150 per month. In total, it looks like they are making around $2,200 per month just in sponsorships and ads plus however much from the iTunes affiliate program.

Here are some monetization tactics they use:​

  • Every paid app they review, by its nature, is on the iTunes store and most paid apps are eligible for affiliate commissions.
  • Sponsorships are a way to have consistent income every month They serve their own ads, which also bring income consistency and quality

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The Sweet Setup is a very simple site using a nice, custom design that succeeds with publishing detailed content often
  • Sponsorships vs. ads might have better returns, help create relationships, and provide income consistency
  • Having a passion for your topic will help you naturally produce better content
  • It’s a mistake they don’t have a Facebook account, because most of their social shares come from Facebook.
  • The insight here is to be on your audience’s favorite social channels - not just yours They also might be missing out on having a “Must Have” page in the header

BESTVPN.COM

Niche: VPN (Virtual Private Networks) Reviews

BestVPN logo

BestVPN is a website dedicated to internet security and privacy.

They primarily review different VPN services to help its users determine which one is best for them.

Best VPN

KEY NUMBERS:

INDEXED PAGES

5,530

REFERRING DOMAINS

2.87K

MONTHLY VISITS

2.40M

FACEBOOK FANS

9.9K+

TWITTER FOLLOWERS

10K+

YOUTUBE FOLLOWERS

7,2K

CONTENT STRATEGY:

  • BestVPN publishes articles and videos explaining what VPNs are, best practices for using VPNs, security tips, and more.
  • BestVPN writes long, high-value blog posts, such as the VPN for Beginner post, to attract backlinks and traffic.
  • Another example is the recently published Ultimate Privacy Guide that’s nearly 13,000 words long that attempts to answer every internet users’ privacy questions.
  • In addition to long guides, BestVPN also publishes news articles 2-3 times a week written by a few different writers covering the internet privacy and security industry.
  • This brilliant strategy allows them to capitalize on recent events and the high amount of searches and traffic that comes with them.
  • One great examples was the recent takedown of Kickass Torrents, which also provided resources to alternatives that contributed this article to be their most shared page.
  • Another example was coverage of some of the Anonymous hacks that received a lot of public attention.

TRAFFIC SOURCES:

MONETIZATION STRATEGY:

BestVPN is monetized by a few different ways. Most notably, they control all their own advertising and don’t use AdSense. Like some of the of the other authority sites reviewed here, this is most likely done to provide consistency in income and build relationships with partners.

They also make money from various VPN affiliate programs which I guess would be the lion share of their revenue.

Here are some monetization tactics they use:​

  • VPN companies can request to get their product reviewed, but it’s unclear if they get paid for a review
  • They also take sponsored listings on their top 10 VPNs page, which isn’t accessible from the main nav and that’s kind of surprising
  • Their last form of advertising are banner ads that are on top of articles. Their prices aren’t listed so it’s unclear how much revenue these generate
  • They also use affiliate links when reviewing VPNs and in their listings of various top VPNs.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Writing about news topics may be extra hard work, but if you have the resources it can be lucrative for traffic and obtaining backlinks
  • Writing long guides about how to use the main product with less commercial intent and mostly free value can be a good lead-in to more product focused review posts
  • And again, controlling your own advertising can be advantageous to income predictability, consistency, and networking

WHOISHOSTINGTHIS.COM

Niche: Hosting reviews

Who Is Hosting This Logo

The main premise of WhoIsHostingThis.com is a tool to look up what hosting provider any website is using.

As most of you know already, the domain’s name servers are public information and WhoIsHostingThis.com is matching the name server to the host’s full name.

This is brilliant because they are ranking #1 for the search terms “who hosts this” and “host lookup” (and probably many more variations of these), which have 2,400 and 1,000 average monthly searches respectively. A tool as simple and valuable as this attracts thousands of backlinks on its own.

When you try looking up a site, you’ll immediately find out the site’s host, and also be greeted with an affiliate link to buy the same hosting as the site you looked up.

Who Is Hosting This

KEY NUMBERS:

INDEXED PAGES

2,230

REFERRING DOMAINS

15.3K

MONTHLY VISITS

1M

FACEBOOK FANS

2.8K

TWITTER FOLLOWERS

2.6K

YOUTUBE FOLLOWERS

N/A

CONTENT STRATEGY:

  • In the main nav you’ll find links to their top 10 hosts, hosting reviews, comparison tools, and hosting coupons. They also have a blog where they post 2-3 times a week, mostly about hosting and domains, but also about many other things such as 8 Ways Your Drone Can Land You in Jail.

TRAFFIC SOURCES:

MONETIZATION STRATEGY:

WhoIsHostingThis.com probably makes a ton of money through hosting affiliate links, which we know how lucrative that can be from The Smart Passive Income blog.

They also sell banner ads, which they control.

Here are some monetization tactics they use:​

  • They use a tool to help users discover who is hosting a site and then have an affiliate link to the same host on the results page
  • They write a lot of hosting reviews and write content around hosting coupons, which all include affiliate links
  • They control and sell their own banner ads for income predictability, consistency, and networking

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Ranking #1 for popular, non buying intent search terms through a simple and easy to use tool can produce a lot of traffic, backlinks, and opportunities to link to affiliate links
  • Having a high amount of backlinks to your homepage provides the opportunity to spread link juice to pages with more buying intent in order to rank faster and higher for those search terms
  • Translating the site to a different language (Spanish) nearly instantly opens your site up to a new market

HOSTINGADVICE.COM

Niche: Hosting reviews

Smart Passive Income

HostingAdvice.com is yet another hosting review site which follows a more traditional approach of creating great long-form content.

Unlike WhoIsHostingThis.com, HostingAdvice.com isn’t able to take advantage of a tool with its domain. Instead, they rely on well written and easy to follow guides on hosting and other topics for beginner and advanced webmasters.​

Who Is Hosting This

KEY NUMBERS:

INDEXED PAGES

512

REFERRING DOMAINS

1.03K

MONTHLY VISITS

820.90K

FACEBOOK FANS

1,586

TWITTER FOLLOWERS

750

YOUTUBE FOLLOWERS

11

CONTENT STRATEGY:

  • Their section on The Basics of Web Hosting is an elaborate piece of content that walks a complete beginner through the whole process of learning what hosting is, how to find the right host, and how to set one up for your needs.
  • Where appropriate, they link out to other articles on their site that contain affiliate links throughout.
  • Furthermore, they have a huge “How To” section of articles with a wide variety of guides published a couple times a week.
  • It looks like some of their titles could be better for SEO, but some articles like “What is Managed Hosting” is ranking well (#4).
  • And as one would expect, in the main nav is a Reviews section with all kinds of different review articles including the obvious “Best Web Hosting Reviews.”

TRAFFIC SOURCES:

MONETIZATION STRATEGY:

HostingAdvice.com doesn’t have banner ads of any kind, but they do accept sponsored reviews and placements in their “best of” lists. Their only revenue stream is through affiliate links for promoting hosting companies.

Here are some monetization tactics they use:​

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • An in depth guide for beginners that covers hosting beginning to end most likely generates a huge amount of sales by offering tons of value up front
  • They go after many different varieties of reviews to rank for less competitive search terms
  • The professionally shot video on the homepage and sidebar adds a ton of credibility and trust that they did their homework for the user

WEBSITEBUILDEREXPERT.COM

Niche: Website builder reviews

Website Builder Expert

KEY NUMBERS:

INDEXED PAGES

1,040

REFERRING DOMAINS

2.04K

MONTHLY VISITS

751.20K

CONTENT STRATEGY:

  • You’ll quickly discover Website Builder Expert uses a large exit-intent popup that doesn’t ask for your email, but instead gives you two options: (1) start a website with Wix or (2) start an ecommerce website with Shopify - both affiliate links.
  • It’s an interesting approach we haven’t seen yet from the other websites reviewed so far.
  • On the homepage you’re met with another two options to either check out their comparison page or take a “quiz” to find the right website builder for you.
  • The comparison page is nothing out of the ordinary and just compares some of the main features against each other.
  • But what is not ordinary is this page has over 700 comments, which most likely help with SEO and improved rankings.
  • Other than that, Website Builder Experts also published regular articles for non-technical webmasters, along with the standard review articles of various website builders.
  • After browsing the site a while, you’ll be greeted again with another popup that asks for an email to download content.

TRAFFIC SOURCES:

MONETIZATION STRATEGY:

Website Builder Experts don’t use banner ads, but they do make their own sidebar ads that are affiliate links to their most popular website builders. All their revenue seems to be made through affiliate links.

Here are some monetization tactics they use:​

  • They use an exit-intent popup to promote their two most popular website builders
  • They make their own sidebar ads with affiliate links
  • They write a lot of comparison reviews - comparing two website builders to one another

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Using more than one popup strategically can yield more affiliate link clicks
  • Having interactive content like a quiz can increase engagement and leave users feeling like they’re getting personalized recommendations from a friend
  • Frequently updating posts when appropriate and responding to all comments increases credibility and trust with users

NOOTRIMENT.COM

Niche: Supplement reviews

Nootriment

KEY NUMBERS:

INDEXED PAGES

5,360

REFERRING DOMAINS

288

MONTHLY VISITS

981.20K

FACEBOOK FANS

24.6K

TWITTER FOLLOWERS

69.2K

YOUTUBE FOLLOWERS

N/A

CONTENT STRATEGY:

  • As soon as you land on Nootriment for the first time, you’ll be greeted with a full screen takeover promoting a product they like a lot which they receive commission for.
  • Once you’re on the site, you’ll see they write articles about a ton of different supplements.
  • The market for supplements is huge and you won’t be able to think of a health related issue the supplement market hasn’t made a product for yet.
  • This gives Nootriment a big opportunity to capitalize on a ton of keywords.
  • In one of their supplement reviews, take their Noopet review for example, they provide a pretty good overview of what the supplement is, its benefits, a review, and recommended dosage.
  • Sprinkled in, they callouts to other similar supplements that you can read about, too. There is also a “related topics” section down the side of the article that’s almost hidden, but contains links to more than 15 detailed pages on Noopet that all look like are based off keywords.
  • Examples include, “Is Noopet legal?” and “Comparison to Piracetam.”There are a ton of supplement topics in the main nav.
  • When you hover over one, a huge drop down menu appears listing different various supplements.
  • Usually, clicking one of these supplements will take you to a similar review overview page; however, sprinkled in are affiliate links straight to Amazon if Nootriment hasn’t written content for that supplement yet. Pretty sneaky.
  • Overall, Nootriment’s content strategy is to post a ton of content around product related keywords.

TRAFFIC SOURCES:

MONETIZATION STRATEGY:

Supplements have a large profit margin and working with manufacturers directly could yield a higher commission rate than what Amazon can. You’ll find Nootriment using affiliate links in every article (and his full screen takeover) from both the manufacturer and Amazon.

Here are some monetization tactics they use:​

  • Full screen takeover with affiliate link is a risky move that might harm credibility, but also probably earns more income than without it
  • Uses affiliate program directly with manufacturer for higher commission rates
  • Will sometimes use affiliate links in the main navigation

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Publishing an overwhelming amount of content around product keywords provides more traffic and opportunities to rank
  • Full screen takeovers could earn extra income, at a cost of losing credibility with some users

ECOMMERCE-PLATFORMS.COM

Niche: Ecommerce platform reviews

ecommerce platforms

Ecommerce Platforms reviews various ecommerce platform software you can use to start an ecommerce store.

Choosing an ecommerce platform is a long term decision and difficult to change later. So store will research each thoroughly to find which one is best for them.

That’s where Ecommerce Platforms comes in.

They review and compare various platforms to help you make a decision.

Ecommerce Platforms

KEY NUMBERS:

INDEXED PAGES

694

REFERRING DOMAINS

1.66K

MONTHLY VISITS

638.50K

CONTENT STRATEGY:

  • As soon as you land on the site for the first time, they have a pop up collecting email addresses in exchange for an ecommerce platform buyer guide.
  • As you scroll down the page, you’ll see another corner “slide in” style popup that asks to sign up for their newsletter.
  • Cleary, collecting email addresses is a big part of their strategy here.In the main nav, you’ll see a few different links you can choose from.
  • First is the “Top Ecommerce Platforms” page with a really beautiful, custom comparison table that’s easily digestible.
  • From there, you can either view a full review or sign up with the platform via an affiliate link.
  • Ecommerce Platforms also has a Resources page in the main nav where users can get a list of useful tools (affiliate links), read their best articles, and even check out some of the other sites owned by Ecommerce Platforms.
  • One of those sites that’s also in the main nav titled “Ecommerce Websites” takes you to a site called ecomm.design where they showcase examples of ecommerce sites with great designs.
  • Similar to Website Builder Experts, they have a sister site called Website Builders where they review website builder software as well.
  • They also have a very clean content site about Matcha Tea (http://matcha-tea.com/)

TRAFFIC SOURCES:

MONETIZATION STRATEGY:

Ecommerce Platforms is monetized by affiliate links with various ecommerce platform providers. Affiliate links can be found anytime they talk about a platform, but they also created a simple sidebar image ad to try out Shopify that is simply an affiliate link.

Here are some monetization tactics they use:​

  • Reviewing numerous ecommerce platforms provides more opportunities for content affiliate commissions
  • Using a sticky sidebar image ad with an affiliate link most likely creates more revenue than a typical AdSense ad
  • Giving users a more personalized recommendation with a quiz can give some users a more preferred way to find the right software for them and buy

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Sticky sidebar image ads with your affiliate link can be a non intrusive way to always have an opportunity for users to click an affiliate link
  • Using a nicely designed comparison table (instead of Tablepress) could increase credibility and more affiliate link clicks
  • Again, using a quiz can make users feel like they’re getting a more personalized recommendation

MONEYSAVINGEXPERT.COM

Niche: Financial advice and financial product reviews

ecommerce platforms

Claimed to be the UK’s largest consumer website with over 15 million users per month, Money Saving Expert helps people save money smarter.

After existing for more than 13 years they have amassed nearly an unimaginable amount of content and a team of over 70 people.

In February 2015, they revealed their email list has over 10 million subscribers; however the site started basically as an email newsletter.

Money Saving Expert

KEY NUMBERS:

INDEXED PAGES

2,900,000

REFERRING DOMAINS

1.66K

MONTHLY VISITS

22.6M

FACEBOOK FANS

95K

TWITTER FOLLOWERS

241K

YOUTUBE FOLLOWERS

8.9K

CONTENT STRATEGY:

  • From advice on finding the best bank accounts and insurance to shopping tips and traveling deals, Money Saving Expert pretty much talks about everything where someone could save money - hence the large team to help with all the content.
  • Like other sites reviewed above, it’s obvious the main priority is to get people to sign up to the email newsletter.
  • They use only purple for the opt-in forms to make them stand out from everything else no matter what page they’re on.
  • They also use a unique shadow technique that looks like a popup, but once you close it, the shadow disappears and you realize the opt-in form is just part of the page.
  • On long articles and guides, instead of having a sticky sidebar ad, Money Saving Expert has a sticky table contents that looks really nice as can be seen in their guide for best cash back and reward credit cards.
  • The ultimate goal for them is keeping people on the site and subscribe, because subscribers eventually do use at least one affiliate link.
  • Another example is the Best Bank Account page, that has at the top a guide to choosing the right bank account for you and their top recommended bank accounts all on one page.
  • This is a great strategy for ranking a piece a page for a highly competitive URL.
  • Again, all this information one page is still user friendly due to the sticky table of contents.

TRAFFIC SOURCES:

MONETIZATION STRATEGY:

Money Saving Expert uses a unique approach to affiliate links. The writers publish the article first and then have other team members find affiliate links for the products that are promoted.

This is revealed as an attempt to keep the site’s content about value first and money second.

Additionally, they mark each affiliate link with * at the end of the link and provide a non affiliate link.

Being transparent is extremely important for a site this big that needs trust and credibility to survive.

Here are some monetization tactics they use:​

  • Be transparent with affiliate links to build trust and it could actually cause people to use them more because they like you
  • In their forum, some words and keyphrases are automatically converted into affiliate links using Skim Links

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Having your users trust is the ultimate win because they will eventually use an affiliate link
  • The money is in the list. Focusing on build a list will lead to more income generating opportunities
  • Publishing tons of useful and valuable content by expanding from your main category where appropriate can create more income opportunitiesBe consistent with your content and value for over a decade and you could potentially have a site worth millions, too

Closing Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed my analysis of the 14 successful affiliate websites above.

Although I call them "affiliate websites" as their primary monetization is through promoting other people's products, all of the websites above follow the authority site model.

Which means they don't exist just to generate money for the owners. Instead, they're built to providing massive value to their target audience.

And the amount of money you make is often correlated to the amount of value you create. So it makes sense that these websites make a very healthy 6, 7 or even 8 figure in revenue.

And this is exactly the model that I'm following and recommending you to follow as well in order to build a sustainable online business in 2017 and beyond.

Just starting out and don't know where to start? Then check out my Start Here page

Tung Tran

Tung Tran is the founder of CloudLiving.com.
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