Case Study: How to Double Affiliate Revenue in Only 4 Months

Herepup Case Study

EDITOR'S NOTE

Hey guys, today I'm happy to bring on my friend Cindy Sha who is a part of the NohatDigital team.

Since 2016, they've been buying different types of online businesses then work their magic to double or even triple them in a very short period of time.

Personally, I've been always curious to know how they did it.

So when Cindy reached out and asked to write a guest post for Cloud Living sharing a case study on exactly what they did to double a business - I immediately said yes.

I hope you guys learn a lot from this article! Take it away, Cindy.

TUNG TRAN

Founder of CloudLiving.com

If you’re an avid reader of IM case studies, then you’ve surely heard of Perrin’s site, Herepup, which he sold for a little over $200,000.

He created this site in 2015 and was able to build it up within 2 years to generate $8,280 in the last month of owning it.

However, what happened since then? Should he have sold it?

Many people build an authority site in the hopes of selling it off for a huge payday. After all, you can get between 20 – 30 x the monthly earnings for your site. Herepup was sold for over $200K and that’s nothing to sneeze at!

But... if you knew you could almost double the current earnings of your site, within a handful of months.. would you be so quick to sell? Or, how much more could you have gotten from the sale?

After acquiring Herepup, we increased revenue from its baseline of $6,988 per month to $14,677 after only 4 months.

So, given the new monthly revenue x 25, Perrin could have gotten $366,925 by selling it.

However, this site doesn’t use any PBNs or other blackhat backlinking strategies, so it could have sold for a higher factor (x 30), which means he could have gotten as much as $440,310!

CRO?

Some new SEO technique no one has heard about (yet)?

Magic?

Nope! All we did was focus on building more quality backlinks, creating more content and switched to a higher paying affiliate program.

These are all things you’ve heard about before – and probably overlook. At NoHatDigital, we make use of Pareto’s principle – focus on the 20% that drives 80% of the results.

However, the one thing we did differently, was implement the above strategies, at scale. We didn’t just get 5 links and called it a day, or put up a handful of new articles. We really went to work.

So, lets take a closer look.

Content

Perrin originally focused on creating keyword focused content for Herepup and we decided to continue his strategy.

However, as mentioned before, we did this at scale.

So, in month #2 of owning the site, we published 34 new articles, in month #3, we published 74 new articles and in month #4, we published 76 new articles.

Each article that was posted was over 1,000 words.

Total New Words Added

Once the new articles were posted on the site, they started ranking within a week or two. This happened because the site was already established and ranking well for most of its keywords.

Building Backlinks

The next thing we did was build high quality, white hat backlinks. We chose to create infographics and then market them to other pet blogs/sites. Infographics lend themselves quite well to the pet niche, which was a part of the success of this strategy.

In month #2 of owning the site, we created 4 infographics, in month #3, 2 infographics and in month #4, 1 infographic. 

Once we created each infographic, we did a significant amount of outreach. This basically means finding relevant sites and asking them to post our infographic on their site (with a link back to ours).

Over the 4 months, we emailed 63,988 sites!

New Emails Sent

Every site that responded, we created a unique introduction to go along with the Infographic to prevent any duplicate content issues.

So, what were our results?

54 links.

This may not seem overtly impressive, however, those links packed a punch. The majority of them had a domain authority of over 18 and one had a DA of 33.

The Results From More Content & Links

In total, we created 184 new articles and got 54 new links within the first four months of owning Herepup. The results?

The new content alone generated $1,006.33 in three months. This content was just published on the site and didn’t have time to age or get higher rankings. So, the revenue from the new content will increase over the coming months.

Changing Monetization

As you can tell, even though adding a significant amount of content and links in the last 4 months, resulted in adding $1,0006.33 to our revenue, it was not the immediate cause of doubling the site’s revenue.

What truly moved the needle, was switching from Amazon to Chewy.

We were able to negotiate a higher payout from Chewy which resulted in doubling our revenue. Of course, we didn’t completely remove Amazon, but added Chewy products.

We were unsure about the move and thought it would decrease our overall clicks since more people know and trust Amazon, but this was an unfounded fear.

As you can see in the chart below, the number of clicks to affiliate programs decreased very slightly once some Amazon links were removed and Chewy was added in Month #2.

Affiliate Clicks Driven Monthly

However, even though the clicks to affiliate products were slightly lower, revenue soared!

Affiliate Revenue Growth

In the fourth month, Chewy affiliate products accounted for over $9000 of the total revenue and the remaining $5000 came from Amazon and Media.net ads.

As a result of the above changes, the average visitor value increased from $0.062 to $0.114 in four months – a 1.8 x increase.

Herepup Traffic Growth

You may be asking yourself – did the traffic increase significantly? Surely, that must be the cause of such an astronomic increase in revenue. However, it didn’t. Here are the traffic stats:

Note that the tracking didn’t work for a few days in November, causing the traffic to show as 0.

  • Pre-sale month – 156,133
  • Pre-sale month – 153,596
  • Month #1 – 135,234
  • Month #2 – 141,313
  • Month #3 – 163,455
  • Month #4 – 148,038

Note that month #3 was December, thus a slight increase in traffic was due to the usual Christmas rush.

Closing Thoughts

Within 4 months of owning Herepup, we managed to double the baseline revenue from $6,988 to $14,677, increase the visitor value from $0.062 to $0.114 as well as increase the earnings per page.

So, can you do the same to your website? This case study proves it.

All you need to focus on is identifying higher paying affiliate programs within your niche as well as scaling your content and link building efforts.

If you have a significant amount of traffic, don’t be afraid to negotiate for higher commissions – if you don’t ask for a raise, the answer will always be no.

What if you can’t find a higher paying affiliate program for your site? Then, it’s well worth it to create your own product.

 If you have the data that shows exactly what people want to purchase, then you’d be bonkers not to make use of it! Remember, fortune favors the bold 😉

What are you gonna do to double or even triple your affiliate revenue? Let us know in the comment section below.

Cindy Sha

Cindy Sha is an entrepreneur, writer and internet marketer with a passion for SEO and affiliate marketing. When she’s not building authority sites, she can be... [Read full bio]

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  • Thanks for the nice case study Cindy! However, I noticed nohatdigial’s internship program offer a couple of months ago. Are all those contents created and outreach emails sent by your interns, just out of curiosity?

    • Cindy Sha says:

      Hey Atiqur,

      Some of the outreach is done by our interns, but not all. We have our in-house system since we own a large portfolio of sites that constantly need new content and links.

  • Cindy, I’m still trying to lift my jaw of the floor after you mentioned 65000 outreach emails. Perhaps your next post here should be about that.

    Excellent post btw. I am going to subscribe to your nohatdigital as well. Thanks.

    • Cindy Sha says:

      Hey Yuvraj,

      Thank you – that next post idea sounds great!

  • Wonderful read!

    Just wanted to point out there is a typo in the Changing Monetization section. You said “1,0006.33”.

    I liked the tip of increasing revenue by moving from Amazon to negotiating with another program. Funny to hear you choose Chewy. Isn’t that the company HerePup originally had trademark disputes with over the original domain name? Very cool to see the numbers behind what happened when you made that change.

    On the NoHatDigital site it says that your team implements blockchain technology into companies that you acquire. Any chance you’re going to somehow do that with HerePup?

    Unrelated question for Tung: How are you enjoying Thrive’s commenting plugin so far? Noticed that you have since enabled it.

    • Cindy Sha says:

      Hey Doug,
      Thanks for the catch on the typo! At the moment, we’re just focused on growing Herepup’s revenue through the strategies above and experimenting with upsells (pet insurance).

  • Great Case Study!

    Did you try drop shipping or planning to do it?

    Did you pay for any of the links?

    • Cindy Sha says:

      Thanks Himanshu! We didn’t pay for any links. Not planning to do drop shipping atm.

  • This is very inspirational stuff! But 54 links from 63,988 emails sent seems low, I’m guessing you sent the emails as a block with a template?
    Solid work anyway.

    • That does seem low. You’d have to send nearly 1,200 emails in order to get one link.

    • Cindy Sha says:

      That’s right Tom. Conversion rates are low, so that’s something we need to work on as well.

  • When you said that you guys really went to work, it is clear that you did exactly so. The number of articles that you added per month is not a joke. I guess most bloggers do need to put in the extra effort, otherwise we will get the results that everyone else is getting.

    • Cindy Sha says:

      Definitely Sheeroh. It’s difficult to add so many articles at scale if you’re doing it on your own, that’s why its important to re-invest earnings you make from your site – hire writers, outreach VA’s etc.

  • Great case study! EOD, you have to tweak, to move from better to the best!

    I’ve had a chat with Chewy, and they said that they don’t offer an affiliate program. Are you using something like Shareasale, CJ etc to be able to get it work?

    Looking forward for your inputs.

    Thanks,

  • Thanks for the indepth post. I plan doing something similar to this as well and hope it also ranks well. Am new to amazon affiliate. What is your average article length please? based on your best ranking articles please.

    • Cindy Sha says:

      Hi Mike,

      I’d say that your articles should be at least 1,000 words, however, I’d aim for 2,000+

  • Any insights into getting into the Chewy affiliate program?

    Unfortunately it seems that since traffic did not increase, and you didn’t do any CRO work, the entire “lesson” here is to have a relationship with a better affiliate program.

    • Cindy Sha says:

      Hey Curt,

      After adding the new content and links, revenue increased by $1,006 within those three months. That is quite significant and as that content ages, it will earn more.

      However, you’re right that our revenue significantly increased by using a higher paying affiliate program – something many affiliate marketers overlook especially when using Amazon to monetize.

  • Hey there Cindy,

    It seems that changing from Amazon to Chevy made a huge impact on income. I never heard about it, but I’ll make sure to give it a shot as these days I am trying to diversify as much as I can the revenue from Amazon.

    Great post indeed.

    Cheers

    Melos

  • Can you clarify? Is this affiliate related too? Do you find this post not valuable? And CL is never just about Amazon aff case studies 🙂

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