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…
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.