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For those in the know, I am mostly a local marketing guy. I switched my focus from Affiliate marketing to pursue client work. Now my agency is paying me very well and I have completely outsourced the process.
Essentially I have now created an income that I can step back from, buying back time, increasing my cash flow, allowing me to pursue other ventures without the desperation of NEEDING MONEY.
Affiliate Marketing Round 2
After a little bit of searching around, browsing through amazon best sellers I stumbled across an item that met my initial requirements.
- High-ish ticket item ($200+)
- In an industry where the passion to purchase trumps the price
- The industry contains consumable items so this helps increase the customer value
Things looked great from here so I started my my next phase of niche analysis. Keyword research revealed some pretty promising numbers.
Accumulated monthly search volume of around 20k per month, targeting 5 main keywords.
Note: I have no knowledge of the niche / industry. I have zero passion for it.
Using these keywords I began searching and compiling the top 3 sites that I seen, were my competition.
Note: I have found ALL keywords tools fail when it comes to competition analysis. Manually reviewing the competition beats them hands down. I use search operators (much like the QSR used in Jaxxy, but I go much deeper) to find my actual competition.
I uncovered the following:
- Domain age = 14 years old
- Trust Flow = 28
- Citation Flow = 27
- External backlinks = 1123
- Pages / Posts = 120
- Domain age = 17 years old
- Trust Flow = 27
- Citation Flow = 29
- External Backlinks = 410
- Pages / Posts = Forum so there is thousands of relevant posts.
- Domain Age = 4 years old
- Trust Flow = 22
- Citation Flow = 26
- External Backlinks = 562
- Pages / Posts = 259
As you can see I was up against some pretty authoritative sites. Huge amounts of posts and backlinks.
My mind snapped at the though of spending 17 YEARS to get anywhere so I planned my attack based on the youngest ranking site #3.
Average words per post for site #3 800 words.
Keeping in mind that the site #3 is 4 years old, to match them, using the same time frame I would need to do the following:
- Post 1.24x per week over 4 years
- Build 2.7 backlinks every week for 4 years
If I wanted to take half the time to hit the top I would need to do the following:
- Post 2.48x per week
- Build 5.4 backlinks every week
I don' know about you but I sure as HELL ain't going to wait 2 years to make bank. Ain't nobody got time for that!
All sites had very good traffic. I did see where things could be improved in regards to SEO, conversions, email marketing, engagement, so things were looking promising.
Even though I had zero knowledge of the niche I was pretty confident in my SEO abilities so I decided to launch my attack on the niche.
Domain Purchased: May 2016
I decided to use a branded domain with an industry relevant, broad match keyword within it.
I only grabbed the .com version. I was thinking about safe guarding the brand by purchasing the .net, .this, .that, but I decided against it because I really needed to validate the niche before investing too much.
I had already uncovered many keywords during my competition analysis. I have a very specific method in which I do this. I only use one paid KW tool (no its not Jaxxy), the rest are completely free.
I approach keywords by topical relevance. This is how I build my site structure. We really need to pay attention to how Google groups its keywords. The way they want you to structure your site is right in front of you if you know where to look.
From this initial research I have 3 lists, from 3 different sources.
- list 1 has 20 keyword / phrases
- list 2 has 206 keyword / phrases
- list 3 has 362 keyword / phrases
Bringing me to a total of 588 keywords. No more keyword research required. EVER.
I add my normal pages:
- Affiliate Disclosure
- Blog page
- Home Page
On top of this I created 5 top level pages that target my main 5 keywords.
From the keyword research done prior, I put them in a spreadsheet and separated them into their categories based on the top level 5 pages.
This gives me an overview of my publishing schedule that I will give to my writers.
For this site I used sidebars to build custom silo's. I no followed all external links. Removed navigation and footers from my money pages. All things I do to TRAP power within my site and direct it where I want it to go.
I also built a content syndication network around the site. Using my brand name for each of the properties. Each time I publish a post (not a page) it shares my content to over 20 high authority social platforms. Building legitimate backlinks and social signals. This is what all MAJOR sites do. It creates an omnipresence.
Made my home page static
I personally wrote the content for the about, contact etc. I also wrote my top level pages (top of my silo, pillar posts, money posts)..
My competition had between 800 - 1000 words on the pages ranking for my target terms so I produced 2000+ words of content one each of my money pages.
This also gave me the time to get a better grasp of the industry. Learnt a bit about the terminology and history.
After 5 pages of 2000+ words of content I hacked my way to becoming somewhat of an authority on the topic. No where near my competition because they clearly are in the niche for completely different reasons to me.
NOTE: I am a business man. I see opportunities everywhere. I have the mindset that I don't have to know everything about something to have an opinion. All I need to know is slightly more than the people looking for it. My assault on this niche may offend those who believe that only the truly passionate, the ones who deliver the most value towards the industry, should take the number 1 spots. This is partially true. But if you love your niche / industry, and you want to future proof your income within it, then you better skill up or INVEST in your business, by hiring someone like me to achieve immunity by market dominance. rant over....
Commissioned 10 blog posts to be written by my writers. Each blog post placed within its topically relevant category, and internally linking to the relevant money page.
Doing this pushes topical relevancy towards your money pages. I do this with all my low hanging fruit posts. I could care less if these posts rank, its my money page I want at the top.
If (they will, its just a matter of time) these posts DO RANK, then thats a bonus.
I customized my Genesis theme focusing on user experience and SEO.
Created my logo
I also created a "persona" that owns the site. I do this because I like to remain anonymous. I do this for most of my niche sites, kindle books etc.
Installed my plugins:
- 404 to start
- Contact Form 7
- Custom Sidebars
- Dynamic Widgets
- Fancier Author Box
- Genesis Enews Extendend
- MainWP Child
- No Follow All External Links
- Project Supremacy v2 (premium)
- Simple Social Icons
Altered my permalink structure
Set up my sidebars, footer menus, navigation menus.
Added Google analytics, Bing webmaster tools, Google search console.
Added links to my social accounts on site.
My site sat in draft mode until July. Then I fired it up.
Once I had finished all my tweaks, 5 money pages, initial pages, 5 posts in draft. I decided to publish everything.
I immediately checked to see if my syndication was working. Once I confirmed this I gathered all my urls from each of my branded accounts, my money pages, posts and used 3 different indexing sites to ping the URLS.
I also submitted my site URLS in Google Search Console.
I shortened the URLS using Goo.gl and submitted these to the 3 indexing sites.
I tweeted my Site URLS using a branded hashtag. I then grabbed the Tweet URL and submitted it to the 3 indexing sites.
All of my urls were indexed within 24 hours. I was sitting between pages 4 - 6 for my main keywords.
Not too bad results. This showed me that I was close enough to the top rankings for me to nudge this a bit further.
5 pages, 5 posts published
Money Spent: $65 - Domain + Articles
The Weeks to Come...
Over the next few weeks I published 1 post per week.
Built out branded backlinks on more authority platforms. Joined forums and reddit groups that were within my industry.
I had the intention of posting in these groups / forums to get enough cred to use links within my signature. I never ended up finishing this. I couldnt be bothered doing it myself and I hadnt create working procedures for my VA's to follow. Too hard basket.
I used a couple tweaks to create some level of automation in my twitter account. Essentially It retweets my shortened URLS of my money pages using specific branding and keyword hashtags. #TwitterSEO at its best.
Due to my schedule and distraction I failed to post every week this month. In fact I only published one post.... meh :P
Checking my rankings I am on page 1 between 5 - 8 for each of my target keywords. I can do better but this is a good start.
- Domain Age: 4 months
- Time the site has been live: 2 months
- Total Pages & Posts: 19
- Bounce rate: 13.99%
- Pages per visit: 2.97
- Avg session: 1.09
- Avg CTR: 2.8%
- 82 Queries associated with my site
I havent made any sales yet but my traffic is growing. I have ideas on how I can improve things like my CTR, pages per visit and avg session. I have a few things I can try to improve conversions.
Things I will look at doing in the future:
- Maintain a regular 1x week posting schedule
- Build out more branded profile backlinks
- Create YouTube videos to rank for the exact terms im using in my posts
- Embed these videos within my posts
- Get a link on wikipedia
- Guest blogging
- Write an ebook to create another revenue stream and gather more leads.
I have some ninja stuff i can do but I honestly don't think I'll need it. I am ranking pretty high already. I believe that with my content marketing schedule I will be in position one soon enough without too much work. Once I hit the top I will shoot one last trick to fortify my position, hopefully making me close to untouchable.
If the niche starts to produce a good enough income, I may look at completely dominating the niche by claiming all of page 1.
TOTAL COST: $65 + 10 hours of my time