This might be your first Amazon affiliate website or perhaps you are a seasoned professional. Regardless there are many important decisions to be made before you start pumping out content and building backlinks.
If you rush into building a Amazon affiliate website and get it wrong it can be painfully difficult to correct at a later date once you have traffic flowing to it and is ranking and banking.
Let's cover the most critical decision you'll have to make for your website.
Making sure you buy a great domain name for your Amazon affiliate website is essential. We wrote a more indepth post on buying a domain name for your Amazon affiliate website but here are the most critical factors to consider.
Picking the right country to target with your Amazon affiliate website is essential. For example if you are a UK dog behaviorist or trainer you might be temped to target American traffic because of the huge difference in search volume for most of the dog related keywords. However there is a big difference in UK and US dog training and accepted behaviorist methods. You should be prepared to write conten for an audience that might not 100% "get you" if you are targeting web traffic for a country you are not very familiar with.
You'll also have to consider how you handle traffic monetization for different counties. For example if you have a UK dog training website but one of your posts goes viral in the US, what will you do with this traffic when it lands on your website? If you are a member of the UK Amazon affiliate program you'll either have to only promote items that should globally or have some form a redirect to a US Amazon search for similar items. Remember each country has its own Amazon affiliate program that you have to register with.
We wrote a more detailed post about using Amazon affiliate websites on expired domains but here is a quick over view.
The are many advantages to starting your Amazon affiliate website on an expired domain. You'll skip the sandbox period Google applies to new domains and you'll get the ranking boost of the backlinks the expired domain already has.
But there are also a few drawbacks to consider as well. Firstly a good spam free expired domain will cost anywhere from $500 up. Some really strong expired domains cost about $5000, it all depends on how many strong niche related referring domains they have in their backlink profile.
There is also a small risk of your website being deindexed by Google. If you buy a spammy expired domain that's not niche related for example its a dog training domain then you start building an Amazon affiliate website on it about shoes you are likely to get an "unnatural" link building penalty.
Where you host your Amazon affiliate website is a big decision. If you pick cheap web hosting you'll have your WordPress hacked and redirected to some spammy website within weeks. If you pick cheap web hosting you'll never be confident that your backups will actually work when the time comes when you actually need them. You're website might also never rank as highly as it could due to slow loading times as many cheap shared hosting solutions are very overprovisioned.
Before you start your Amazon affiliate website you should give some thought as to what your off-page SEO strategy will be. Will you follow Google's webmaster guidelines like a religion and only do search engine marketing where you email fellow webmasters with your new content posts hoping they will link back to you.
Or will you break Google's webmaster guidelines and deliberately build or buy backlinks to your website with the risk of them catching you and deindexing your website.
The risk reward ratio here is certainly one to give much thought to. Ranking a website without backlinks in a competitive niche is nearly impossible.
We write a more in-depth guide in what backlinks to use for your Amazon affiliate website. Here are just a few off-page seo strategies you could use for your Amazon affiliate website.
Keep in mind any off-page SEO / link building is against Google's web master guidelines so can cause a website to be deindexed. Always try to have a natural looking backlink profile to avoid Google penalties.
Do you want a broad niche website such as fashion or a micro niche such as shoes for women with small feet? There are pros and cons to each. With a broad niche website you'll always have room to grow your brand into new areas and never run out of topics to pump out content for.
However its harder to become a leading authority in a niche where you are covering many subtopics. It's often better to be great a one thing rather than good at many. Another advantage to micro niche websites is that Google knows exactly what your website is about and search relevancy is becomming a bigger Google ranking factor than ever.
How will you manage the content and any advanced features on your website? Will you code them yourself, will you pay a developer to make you a custom seo friendly content management system or will you just follow the other 95% of Amazon affiliates and use a prebuilt CMS like WordPress?
Hiring a developer to code you a custom CMS will cost you $3000+ for a good CMS. If you are just starting an Amazon affiliate website for the first time this is far beyond what most people can afford initially. A sensible compromise is to use a popular prebuilt CMS such as WordPress and pay a developer for any custom modifications you require.
Like most people if you do decide to use a prebuilt content management system then here is a short list of ideal CMS's you can use for your Amazon affiliate website.
Themes are a huge part of any Amazon affiliate website. When you work hard pumping out good content and building backlinks you want to make the most of the traffic you earn converts well.
One of the best ways to do this is to use a great theme. When you have a great theme you have a great looking website and great looking websites make users trust them more. So your bounce rate lowers and your dwell time goes up.
The longer a user stays on your website the more likely it is you can convince them to click through to Amazon and buy an item you are reviewing.
Many website owners are tempted to use cheap themes or even nulled/cracked themes (never do this you'll get your WordPress hacked pretty quickly!) on their websites. But you're cheating yourself out of affiliate commission if you do this.
Invest in a premium theme and get your Amazon affiliate website off to a great start.
There are many factors at play when you decide if to outsource your websites content creation or not.
If you have a low/zero budget then outsourcing your content creation might be difficult. As with most things in life you get what you pay for. If you pay for cheap content you'll get poor low quality content with grammatical errors spelling mistakes and possibly even spun content or duplicate content stolen from other websites.
Also if your niche is very technical or quite rare a writers knowledge of it will be non-existent so they'll either take an extremely long time to produce decent content and it won't be viable financially for them or they'll just produce low quality content.
However if you do have a decent budget for content writing and your niche isn't super technical and a writer with no experience in it could familiarize themselves with it fairly quickly then it might make sense to outsource at least some of your content.
If you ever want to scale your content creation for your website you'll need to outsource some of it. There is only so much content one person can write per day.
A sensible compromise many website owners decide on is outsourcing their information based content and writing their buyer/money content themselves. So they know the most important content will be the best if can possibly be.
We wrote a more detailed post on how to find a good Amazon affiliate content writer if you do decide to go the outsourcing route.
Finally there is always a sneaky little way to get ahead start. Many people make a living out of buying a fresh or expired domain, adding a great looking theme customized for Amazon affiliates then adding 10,000+ words of good content, letting it age so its out of the Google sandbox and then selling it for $1000+.
If you want to get ranking right away its a great option to investigate further.
If you feel like this post would help other Amazon affiliates we'd love a share!
Remember we offer a 100% free fully functional 7 day trial of our Amazon link scanner. So try now!