3 Years At Wealthy Affiliate

Last Update: September 19, 2018

Hey, what's going on everybody? I haven't been posting as much lately because I felt like I was basically repeating myself with every post. I'll work on posting more (I'm thinking more on the lines of reviewing succesful niche sites).

I'm working as hard as ever, though, and just realized I've been here for 3 year now. I was almost shocked when I noticed this and got me thinking about my time here so far.

If this is your first time reading a post by me, here's the journey up to this point:

3 years ago I came across Wealthy Affiliate and didn't sign up right away. I kind of put it on the back burner and never really researched affiliate marketing.

Then in August in 2015, I was working an insurance job (I was 25 then) and didn't like it. I actually ended up leaving at lunch and never returned.

I jumped right into Wealthy Affiliate without even knowing what I was getting into but I was determined to make it work.

I didn't tell anyone in my family for the first week (I literally just got up like I was going to work and just went to Vassar College's library and went through the training and started building my site there).

Eventually I told everyone and they all tried to talk me out of it. You know what happened next? I didn't make a single dollar in my first year. I didn't quite understand which keywords to target and SEO as much as I do now.

My family was losing patience but I pushed on. I scraped my first site and started over. This time I had a year of experience and research. In 6 months I got this site to over 2k a month.

But...

It all disappeared in a day after a Google update. I went from 2k a month to $200. I ended up selling the site for 2k and started over.

This time I did it right (before I had too many affiliate links per page and not enough words per post) and got this site to nearly 5k in 7 months.


I made an additional $500 from Canada and Europe sales.

It was pretty seasonal and I had a choice to make this previous spring - sell it or make under $1000 for the next few months and build a new site with basically no money.

I decided to sell it and got $40,000. It was the right decision and finally being ahead after 2 and half years felt GREAT. For this year I'll have made between $50,000 to $60,000. Not bad.

Since May I've been working on a seasonal website that's probably going to average $2000 to $3000 a month between November to April. I'll be finishing this site up by November and then I'll start a new project.

I already have a niche picked my next niche and this site I'll be working on for a while (I'm guessing for the next 18 months as my sole focus). I'll also put around 10k in it for content creation to speed things up. I may dabble in Youtube as well.

My goal is to have a 10k month in 2019 and to be over 150k in the year 2020 and 300k in 2021. It's going to be tough but I think I can get it.

Here's my advice to anyone just starting out or not getting results:

Measure things in terms of 3 months to 6 months. Affiliate marketing can be slow but it's a great way to make money. If you're not seeing improvements in rankings in 3 month to 6 month chunks, you need to switch things up.

Also, if you're monetizing through Amazon you HAVE to pick a niche where the majority of products are OVER $100.

Here's how the numbers worked out for my last site:

Of all the traffic I got to my site I was able to send 32% to Amazon. Of the 32% sent to Amazon between 7.5% to 8% bought something. The average of all sales was $3.

So If you get 60,000 people to a site and you optimize it correctly, 19,200 will go to Amazon. Of those people you'll get around 1440 sales. At $3 a sale you get around $4,320. That's very attainable and if you know what you're doing, you can do that in a 12 to 18 months.

I marketed items that were in the $150 to $500 range. So if you market products that are $20 to $50 you'll only make around $1 a sale or less. With 60,000 people a month you might make less then $1000 because of this. To make $5,000 you'd have get traffic in the 300,000 a month range. Not impossible but not easy and will take probably 2 years at the very least.

If you pick a niche that has products in the $200 range 300,000 people a month might get you $20,000 a month! These niches exist and can be completely monetized through Amazon. I'm hoping the one I just picked can reach that.

If you're interested in learning how I make sites, read my training here.

This is the best time of the year to use this strategy too. Research a niche now, start writing in November (targeting 2019 keywords) and you'll see good results pretty quickly.

So that's my story and advice. I'm so grateful to have found this place and grateful to have talked with the people inside this community. This is a hell of a lot better then an insurance job. I don't have to ask when to eat, I wake up whenever I want and I'm making more money now then I did working twice as many hours!

Thanks for reading and I hope you success!

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xoloxogo Premium
you are so good a writer! It's the best story I have read here !
I am older than you, but I am in the same situation as you were 3 years before!
I am so touched by your story, especially the quiting job and goting to Vassar College's library part!
cause it's so similar with my recent life ...
I have quitted my last job for almost a year, planned to build a startup company with my friend, but actualy we are failed, I don't know how face it...
I have not earned any income for three months.
I don't want my wife to worry about me, cause she is suffering with canser...
I just told my family erveything is going well... and didn't talk about what I am doing with anyone...just like you, I went to a coffee bar everyday, searching for every chance to making moeny, learning the Affiliate skill, knowlage about seo, keywords all over the internet...looking forward any change for my life
I totally agree with your saying that Affiliate marketing can be slow but it's a great way to make money. I will give myself 3-6 month on it as a fulltime, I know it will be so hard for me to persit, but I want to make it happe too!
thank you again for your story and advise!
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Anthonyhu Premium
Good luck with your efforts! I am in my second year and made no penny in the first year. It is long learning curve. I started with full time for some months and quickly felt it was not short term and need a lot of efforts. Now I have a full time job and part-time WA work. I am confident I will success! Cheers!
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xoloxogo Premium
thank you!I'm considering to find a fulltime job and continue my long journey to online success. btw, your Kcancer site is great!!
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RGoff Premium
Hello Dylanrieger, I really enjoyed your blog. I'm new and still in basic training. I do feel comforted in knowing that that when I finish I can contact you for help in making good productive decisions that will making money in a relatively quick period of time.

I'm 72 years old and need to make some money as quickly as I can in order to accomplish my goals while I'm still alive.
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MarlaineB Premium
Thanks for the update, Dylan! Sounds like a good life.

Quick question - how do you track the percentage of the people who go through your site to Amazon (yours was 32% I believe)? Is there a plugin or something on Google Analytics that I'm missing out on? I'd love to know.
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TDomena Premium
Amazon tracks the number of people who click versus who buy and calculates a conversion rate. It shows on the Amazon affiliate dashboard. Other affiliate programs share the same data, but some affiliate marketers add a plugin like Pretty Links (it's free) to see how many people are clicking a product from their pages.
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dylanrieger Premium
I just look at the total number of unique pageviews in Google analytics and the number of clicks to Amazon (you can see that in Amazon associates). To find the percentage you divide the Amazon clicks by the Google analytics clicks. So if you got 20,000 clicks to Amazon and 100,000 clicks to Google you would get .2 or 20% (20,000/100,000)
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MarlaineB Premium
Thanks Dylan. I did some playing around with my numbers last night and sort of figured out the same process (combining Google Analytics and the Amazon numbers). It's very interesting... I bet I could "waste" a ton of time playing around with stats haha.

Digging to stats is a bit of a bigger job as I have 2 different sites with multiple tracking ids going into one Amazon account... my old site that still plugs along making $20-30/month even though I haven't touched it in a year (which I think is pretty cool because that's where I left it), and my new site which is doing great (big thanks to your advice). Separating the stats from the 2 sites is a bit complicated :)

Side question - do you use different Amazon accounts for your different sites? Or all in one?
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MarlaineB Premium
Thanks TDomena. I've never heard of Pretty Links! I'm very familiar with the Amazon affiliate dashboard, but I was curious how Dylan came up with the stat of how many of his site visitors actually went to Amazon... :)
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dylanrieger Premium
I have one account with different tracking id's. You can choose which tracking Id's to look at when you're in the reports section.

Out of curiosity how is your site doing?
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MarlaineB Premium
I have more than 10 ids for my new site, as I do one per post so I know which ones are doing well... and you can select a max of 10 ids at once... :) So it's a matter of subtracting the bunch from my first site from the total, but it's doable.

My "best of" site is going well. I ended up taking a bit of a break from it this summer due to family life, prepping for and going on camping trips, and then heading up a huge fundraiser in early September, but amazingly, I've still had 3 banner months even not really doing much! Nearing 4 figures in August - which is really exciting. September won't be as good judging on where I am now, but I'm starting this week to jump back in and hopefully that'll help!
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dylanrieger Premium
Oh wow congrats on the results! That's really good results for the work you did!
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MarlaineB Premium
Thanks! Not quite $4,000 in 6 months like you, but yes, based on the work I did, I'm happy. And looking forward to growing it in the future! :)
All the best with your own ventures, Dylan!
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dylanrieger Premium
Thanks!
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littlemama Premium
Your 3 years is so impressive Dylan! I often refer people to you as a great Amazon example, sorry if you get too many pm's from that. ;)

Your work is so impressive.

Would you like to do a training or posts about a new Amazon niche case study that everyone could follow along for a full year.. if you're looking for content to post here. LOL

I would follow that. :)
Grace
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Zarina Premium
At WA there's like this "Dylan strategy" group and his major fans xD

A lot of people started Amazon sites with his strategy (or made tweaks to their existing ones). As far as I know, it worked for them too.

I know it worked for me!

I am so excited about November-December. After all, these holiday days are said to be the biggest earners for Amazon sites!
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littlemama Premium
Yes there's definitely a fan club here for Dylan! :)

I have to make one of these sites one day.
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Zarina Premium
You should! I am more than happy to help you on "Amazon" journey too :)
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littlemama Premium
Thanks Zarina, appreciate that, I will bug you for sure. :)
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dylanrieger Premium
I'll definitely give updates on my next site in terms of traffic, sales and money spent.
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dj-drea Premium
I have been running a website for just over 4 years and still haven't made it past $2000 a month. I am promoting cheaper products though, so I can see from your post that that plays a role in how much money I can make.

You are an inspiration, I wish I had that level of success. I keep plugging away at my site, and I keep staying at the same level of income, it is a bit frustrating. I wish I knew what I could do to increase my income. Maybe a new site is the way to go.
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TDomena Premium
I'd love to ping ideas with you!
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dj-drea Premium
send me a PM
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MikaelM Premium
A new site is in my opinion not necessarily the best solution. Sometimes more work on your current site and keep learning from the webinars and implementing is the way to go.

It depends what you have already done on your site. One important question is for example when you say that you have had your website for 4 years how many posts do you have?

Because having small commissions per conversion can still give a good income - I know this from personal experience where I just recently made it well over $2000 for a month for a website with small commissions per conversion. Of course if we are talking products where you only earn a few cents per sale, it might not be the best.
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TDomena Premium
Sure
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NWTDennis Premium
Have you checked out the Dylan Strategy referred to above by Zarina?
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NWTDennis Premium
Were you a newbie when you finally signed up here at WA or did you already have internet marketing experience?

Have your seasonal sites all been Amazon Associate sites? You're so good with your site statistics do you have a statistic for how often an Amazon sale was for Amazon products not referred by your site?
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NWTDennis Premium
What did you learn to avoid being slammed by a Google update?
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katkatskitchen Premium
The answer to that is don't take shortcuts. Pay close attention to the problems in your niche and understand them and give value to your potential customers by finding solutions for them. Don't have too many affiliate links per page and have some post with no affiliate links at all
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dylanrieger Premium
I had zero internet marketing experience. Had no idea what keywords or seo were or any of that.

And every site I do is Amazon. I have zero clue how many sales are non sales but it's pretty significant - probably 20% to 30%
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Calvinator63 Premium
Wow Dylan

You sure have accomplished quit a bit in just 3 years. I appreciated you sharing your results very inspirational for myself and others.

I wish other members would come forward as well and share what is working for them and what is not. I'm not sure if i understand the logic behind selling the websites would you make more longevity wise if you continued to build them with more content.

It seems that the typical pattern for most sites are once they stay producing it is an every other month noticeable increase in productivity which could mean very high revenue from an established site.

Would love to hear your input on that.

As always educational and motivational thanks,

Calvin
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dylanrieger Premium
I just took the money now to put it towards more websites. But I would usually recommend holding on to your site for a few years
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SteveMand Premium
You are a star Dylan and every single blog you post is both inspiring and informative - thanks for everything you have done in the community over the past three years!

So is your new niche following the same guidelines as your previous niche sites? Ie a broader area where you can write lots of best of posts? Or are you narrowing it down this time?

Thanks again,

Steve
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dylanrieger Premium
It's pretty broad.. as broad as my last one. It's certainly not narrow
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SteveMand Premium
Good luck with it - I am sure it will be a big success again.
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LouisMunro Premium
This is one of the most valuable blogs I have ever read. Dude you know what you are doing and after 3 years talk like if you have doctors' degree in affiliate marketing. Hopefully one day I will achieve your knowledge level. Unfortunately, I am stuck in my current business and cannot leave during lunch because 16 families rely on my business for an income. I just hope and pray I can do this part-time. I think the right strategy is to follow your course after Bootcamp, that is my plan. Can I post your entire blog on my website? It will help many people outside WA.
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dylanrieger Premium
You can post it! and you'll get there eventually
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Roybretton Premium
Hello Dylan,

Thank you for a great blog post, I only came across your profile a few days ago, which I believe was through a featured blog post!

It's great to read your story and to hear about your success, I always like to see people doing well. Good for you for standing up and leaving your insurance job and quietly moving forward with your website and not taking on board any criticism from family or friends!

Your creating a life of freedom, fantastic news!

Wishing you even more success.

Right
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dylanrieger Premium
Thanks!
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Omosomi Premium
Your post is so inspiring, great, awesome.

But I am still wondering how you did it to made it happen.

Your post is driving me crazy guy. This is not just story telling but really life story. You are good to associate with in business, I need to learn more from you.

Regards

Omosomi
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dylanrieger Premium
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Noteboom Premium
Thank you for very useful posts.
One question if it´s ok. I have the feeling that you like to have many websites rather than 1-2. I know there are a lot of ideas about what is better. So I´m curious about your opinion.
Is not more work to have 5-10, for example, to recover broken links etc, rather than have many niches under the same domain like musichall.com when you can have a niche for guitar on the same time as cd (if we forget what the items cost, sure you know what I´m mean).
Or is it wiser to keep open the possibility to sell some of the sites without missing them all at the same time?
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dylanrieger Premium
I like to have a few sites.. It just depends on the niche really. Some niches will only need 6 months of work and others will take 10 years!
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marycmiller Premium
Wow Dylan great job, I have read some of your training and found that it was incredible, so I started a new website recently base of some of your training. I am just building content now and hope that someday I can get them working for me. You seem to have a special knack for affiliate marketing, did you have and background before coming to WA.
Mary
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dylanrieger Premium
Good luck!
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Swangirl Premium
I always look forward to your updates. I was doing pretty well this summer until the new Google "Medic" update came out. Everything went downhill from there for about a month. It is picking back up now but I had to put a lot more time it to crawl back out of that hole. Did you notice any change from that?

I don't have big ticket items but I do want to add some. I am lucky to be in the 8% commission bracket on Amazon however so that helps make the smaller items profitable.

I am so impressed with your success! Congratulations!!!
Jessica
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EKaye1 Premium
Its great to read your experiences over the last 3 years. Its very inspirational and I just started back in April this year. I am so pleased to have signed up to WA. Currently working on my website caring for guinea pigs and just deciding whether to do a website on wealthy affiliate next year or later. Congratulations on what you have achieved so far.
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CandP Premium
Dylan, this is such an inspiration to us. We have already saved the training on how you make your sites.
We started with OEC training and built out a site with, what we realized, was way too broad a niche. We have put that on the backburner and now we have another site we are much happier with that we are just building out now. So all this information from you is very timely. We are currently in Bootcamp and learning even more.
We appreciate all that you share with us and we will be putting it into practice soon.
Congratulations on all your success and we are so glad you are no longer in Insurance;)
Wishing you happiness and more great things,
Colette and Philip
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Zarina Premium
Hey Dylan, I've been waiting for another post of yours haha :)

Seriously, you're inspiring.

As for family losing patience, oh man, how I understand you. At least now with the accident/surgery situation, my family can't actually tell me to go "get a normal job"... so at least somewhat a peaceful environment for me for now.

I mean I wouldn't give in anyway but it's just annoying and distracting. Why waste energy on arguments when you can direct it towards website work?

By the way:

Yesterday for the first time I got 16 orders (with 2 orders being expensive cameras). Should be around $150 or more for one day.

Hopefully September will be my first $500 month!

Now, my results are slower (no crazy jumps from $100 to $1000 to $2500 like it was in your case), but I publish a lot less articles than you too. In the process of switching writers too.

Thanks a lot for sharing your journey and your knowledge Dylan. Wishing you success with your new website!!!

How's your new site going by the way? Any traction so far?

P.S. I just realized that this month it'll be 3 years for me too. Holy moly!
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dylanrieger Premium
Well my family doesn't have objections now - a little success and they were happy.

And congrats on the sales so far, it's honestly more than prob 90% of people who try affiliate marketing make. You should have a really good November and December too. Sales hit the highest then so you should be a little surprised at the results you get.

Keep going and you'll be making good money soon enough.

The jumps I saw in money isn't very typical and it's because I hit on some very good keywords. Plus they only really hit between October to April - they basically make no money in spring and summer (which is why I have to build a new site which won't grow as fast as the one I'm working on now I don't think).

The new site is going well. The keywords are basically where I want them to be.

I have a little time before they really hit. November is the month where this niche takes off. I'm not entirely sure how much I'll make though and I'm hoping more than last time. We'll see soon enough.

Stay in touch and let me know how the sales go!
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Zarina Premium
Yeah, I hope my family will leave me alone too about changing my law career path to "doing something online" as they say lol.

I'm just glad that at this point, I myself have no more doubts that this is what I want to do. So they can't "break" me lol.

Honestly, I have NO idea what to expect for November/December but I really hope it'll be some big pleasant surprise :)

Gotta try to put out more best of posts/reviews... Wish I didn't have to spread my energy between websites and physiotherapy. Still quite a lot of energy goes into recovery. But I am trying my best and keeping my hopes high for the holiday season!

Good luck with your site and I really hope to hear another success post very soon :)
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dylanrieger Premium
Thanks and I hope to hear some success stories from you too!
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MKearns Premium
congrats. A great milestone
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dylanrieger Premium
Thanks!
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Jadatherapy Premium
As always Thank you once again Dylan for your great help.

Your training here is priceless.

Wishing you much success always
Jennifer
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dylanrieger Premium
Thanks!
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Jadatherapy Premium
You are most welcome
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Vickic3 Premium
Hi Dylan
Loving this post- So inspirational to someone like me who is constantly looking for ways to improve my online businesses
I will go take a look at your training as I know it will help a lot
Thanks for the share and continued awesomeness to you
Vicki
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dylanrieger Premium
Thanks!
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lynnsam61 Premium
Dylan,
Congrats on your anniversary. I missed your site training but I've bookmarked it. Thanks for sharing!
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dylanrieger Premium
No problem!
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Loes Premium
Thank you, and thanks for sharing your knowledge in a training with all members:))
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HuyNLe1989 Premium
Thanks Dylan I have read over your training and I am implementing your website building strategy for both of my niche websites. I was just curious as to how many informational pieces you were writing to go with your best of post?
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dylanrieger Premium
I'd say 60% best of's, 40% info works.
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HuyNLe1989 Premium
Thank you!
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YanFellow Premium
Oh, so inspiring, Dylan. Love your training - everyone should read it! I've got it bookmarked and re-read it from time to time :-)

Do pop in and let us know how it's going.
Ian
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dylanrieger Premium
Glad you like it!
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YanFellow Premium
I haven't quite put it into practise yet but I'm still working through the training. Doing one blog posted based on it, though... :-)
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Mercjall Premium
Thanks Dylan. Really valuable advice. Noticed you did not mention ads at all which means your income is largely from affiliate commiasions?
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JosonInc Premium
Holy cow... first time I get to be the first one to make a comment on a post or blog. Anyway, THANKS for sharing this great information here.

What I am getting is...you have mastered the basic 'recipe for success' with website monetization and that is where us newbies have to set our sights on...finding the right recipe...and start cooking!

My challenge...and a challenge to most of us newbies...how to do great content, get great traffic AND HOW TO GET SEEN AND RANKED BY GOOGLE!

Joe
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dylanrieger Premium
Nailed it. Niche selection, keywords and content - that's the recipe.
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Fleeky Premium
Awesome share
Thank you
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