Welcome to our humble little blog. Firstly can you tell us a bit about your self?
Paul and I met in college 8 years ago - he is from France and I'm from the United States. We are both avid travelers and earth enthusiasts; we care about pets, people, and our planet and endeavor to make a positive impact on all three! Together, with our cat Yoda, we have lived in 7 countries on 3 continents.
Tell us about your website and don't worry there's no shame in a little self-promotion here!
We are Brittany, Paul, and Yoda, the trio behind The Fluffy Kitty. Our blog began in 2015 when Paul and I hatched the idea of creating a niche website about DIY cat furniture after creating a DIY litter box enclosure for our newly adopted kitty named Yoda. So we created Fluffy Kitty (previously My Cat Furniture) and began sharing our experience of life with our Yoda. After years of writing articles, and traveling to various countries with him in between, our blog grew beyond its niche and grew into an all-about-cats blog with articles on health, nutrition, behavior, travel, and more. Today, The Fluffy Kitty focuses on cat travel and eco-friendly cat care, designed to share with other cat parents that an adventurous life with pets - and an earth-friendly one at that - is possible.
What made you decide to start an Amazon affiliate website?
It was Paul who started dipping his toes into the Amazon affiliate websites in 2014. It all started because Paul, being French, needed to find a job in the USA in order for us to stay together whilst I finished up my senior year at university. When that turned out to be harder than planned, Paul turned online to grow a location-independent career. He tested out a niche website in France, and over the months, began to work on it full-time.
Is this your first Amazon affiliate website or are you fairly experienced at this?
The Fluffy Kitty was our first Amazon affiliate website that we created together. For Paul, this would make his second. While Paul remains on board as our "CEmeOw", Brittany works on Fluffy Kitty full-time as sitting Purresident.
In this your full-time income or do you have a 9-5 too?
Paul and I are fully location-independent now. I work full-time on growing The Fluffy Kitty and Bucketlist Bri, my travel blog, while Paul works full-time on his company that he grew with his friend and brother who are based in Europe.
Do you have any other online ventures currently running?
After seeing the success of Paul's first niche website, we brought the same idea to the US market. We painstakingly translated the entire website from French to English. Castor Oil Guide still earns us passive income, despite not working even part-time on it the majority of this year. Beyond that, I stay busy with The Fluffy Kitty and Bucketlist Bri while Paul works on his company, UpcyLink.
What do you feel is the best quality of your website?
The Fluffy Kitty is so good at connecting the writing with the reader. Our articles have all been extensively researched beforehand and then handwritten largely by me (Brittany). In the beginning, both Paul and I were writing for The Fluffy Kitty. Now we have a vet technician to make accurate and information articles surrounding cat health, while I focus on our level of expertise: cat travel and sustainability in the cat industry.
Where does most of your traffic come from?
Our success has been largely thanks to organic traffic. It took us almost a year of writing articles to see real results in traffic. Slowly but surely, we got there! Social also helps drive traffic, but nothing like our organic results.
Any little SEO tips you think Amazon affiliates would benefit from?
Yes. Always create meaningful, valuable content over word count or algorithms. When you put the reader's best interest in the intention and creation of the article, it always comes out better than when you write a post just for affiliate links.
If you do have a decent social following how did you grow it?
We never tested with bots. Instead, we leveraged our monthly traffic to drive likes and follows to our social platforms and then engaged directly with people there.
In terms of SEO are you a white hat or a black hat?
We don't really delve into this side of SEO because we've always envisioned the long, authentic strategy of finding organic backlinks. Since The Fluffy Kitty is so much more than just an affiliate site to us - it's very much a reflection of our values - we don't risk even thinking about doing sneaky, black hat techniques.
Have you ever had a Google penalty? If so what for and did you manage to fix it?
How do you plan to grow your website going forward?
We are slowly growing all-around. I'm concentrating lots of time to growing social because Google rankings can always drop suddenly due to the saturated and competitive nature of other pet blogs. We are also looking forward to making and writing more digestible and thorough content on all sides, whether via articles, social posts, videos, or products we're currently developing.
Do you outsource any tasks? If so which ones?
After outsourcing writers and always feeling disappointed with the quality, we very much take every task personally. We learn and then tackle the task ourselves. We usually only outsource if a skill is way beyond our reach. We recently outsourced our cat health articles to a licensed vet tech so as to give the articles more scientific and accurate information.
Have you ever been banned from the Amazon affiliate program, if so what for?
Do you feel its important to be passionate about your chosen niche or do you think great content can be created either way?
Great content can be created either way, in my opinion. But I definitely lean toward the importance of feeling passionate about it, simply because it takes such a long time for niche websites to grow authentically that if you really want to become an authority in your niche it's going to take something other than money to drive your time and effort.
What do you wish you'd know now because you started your website?
Man, I wish I would've listened to myself and grew the brand straight from the start - starting with the brand URL I wanted from the beginning (and not my-cat-furniture). Building brand awareness after-the-fact is risky, lengthy, and pretty time-consuming once you already have a decent following with organic traffic. Any changes put all that at risk and switching URL's and http to https definitely made our traffic dip for a while.
Our reader's love stats. Would you be willing to share any?
Gosh, this is hard to say because Fluffy Kitty has seen a roller coaster of stats over the years. For a while, we were growing upward of 2,000 sessions a day, but as competitor's crept in, we took a beating. The ups and downs made us reevaluate our purpose and intention with the blog. We always try to write with a minimum of 1,000 words but sometimes it goes way beyond this. I once wrote an article that peaked over 7,000 words!
Feel free to decline this question because its a little sensitive but would you be willing to share your rough earnings the site is making you per month?
We earn through affiliate networks, but also through ads, paid advertising and sponsorships. And because of the nature of these opportunities, our earnings really fluctuate. Sometimes we earn only $300 a month and sometimes we earn over $1,000+ from just one channel. It really just depends.
Do you have an exit strategy?
We've been approached to sell our site before. But it's just too personal to give away. We are an extremely valuable resource as we are a truly homegrown cat blog that made it somewhat big. We are developing meaningful partnerships too - like our project to help women in Mexico earn a fair wage or our annual donations to cat shelters and spay/neuter procedures for stray cats. So we're concentrating on building up these meaningful projects instead of selling.
And finally is there anything else you feel like your fellow Amazon affiliates would benefit from knowing?
It's the journey, not the destination. Earning 0.50 cents after a whole year of writing articles with no pay is an unforgettable feeling and the sense of achievement that comes with that is invaluable. Don't lose that feeling of pursuit and curiosity during the tough times.