$3000 Per Month Amazon Affiliate Gardening Niche Website - [INTERVIEW]

$3000 Per Month Amazon Affiliate Gardening Niche Website

In this post we speak to a fellow Black Hat World forum member Jake who is making in excess of $3000 every month with the Amazon affiliate program in the gardening niche. I met Jake while I was asking for feedback about our Amazon affiliate link checking product. He's a smart guy with years of experience with the Amazon affiliate program. He's made great sites and lost great sites too! He'll explain all about his battles with Google shortly.

DISCLAIMER: Some of what you are about to read is grey hat SEO techniques. Please be aware excessive usage of these methods may get your website deindexed by Google.

For the sake of clarity my questions are in italic and Jakes responses are in a bold font.

Thanks for doing this interview with us Jake. I feel like people can learn a lot from the years of Amazon affiliate experience and advanced search engine optimisation skills you have.

No problem at all, always happy to help a fellow BHW member. I also enjoy showing other people whats possible with hard work.

So I'm just going to fire off questions at you. Feel free to expand on these in anyway you feel might help our readers.

When did you first start with the Amazon affiliate program?

So I started my first Amazon affiliate program about 7 years ago and it was a total mess. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't know SEO, I didn't read the Amazon affiliate Terms of service and I had no understanding of keyword research or even buyer psychology.

As a result of this, I got no organic (search engine) traffic, hardly any click throughs from my website with the tiny amount of traffic I pulled in and then finally, I got my Amazon affiliate account BANNED because I was accidentally breaking their terms of service.

Wow that sounds like an absolute disaster. Where did you go from there?

Well, yes. It was a disaster and I lost money on it too. But in some ways I saw it as a success. I learn't the very very basics of SEO and after you've made the most basic of mistakes you're much less likely to make the same mistake again. So, I learnt a lot from it and it really gave me the determination to get where I am today. So theres no regrets there.

Amazing. So tell us about the current site you're working on?

It's in the gardening niche, its about 18 months old now and its doing about $3000 a month. I've used some grey hat SEO techniques so I don't want to give out the websites address currently. These days competitors are always reporting each others websites to Google so you have to be careful.

I understand completely, thats absolutely fine. What would you say are the main reasons this website has been such a success compared to your first Amazon affiliate disaster?

Well that's a good question and I have no idea where so start! I'll break it down into a few things and go into detail for each one.

This might be a no brainer for some but it wasn't for me initially. I assumed the moment I put up a website and started writing best of reviews and top 10 reviews for Amazon affiliate products I'd have a flood of traffic and I'd be rich. I understand now theres plenty of competition AND Google ranks websites much more slowly these days. Due to these two factors it takes a lot long to earn from niches websites. So you have to take your time and come to know perseverance well.

Advanced SEO
My SEO (search engine optimisation) is banging now compared to how it used to be. I was doing very 1999 things like keyword stuffing and alt tag stuffing when I first started. Things are much different nowadays. You have to treat Google with respect because its a lot smarter now. Don't get me wrong I still take a few short cuts which I'll share in a minute but I do everything in moderation now with the aim of my website passing a manual Google review. Most of the shortcuts I take are to do with link building. You can make money by just writing content and putting Amazon links in but you'll be waiting a long long time. If you want to bank and compete in competitive spaces you'll need a strong backlink profile pointing to your website. At the moment I'm using high quality guest posts (real guest posts not cheap PBN links), high quality niche related expired web 2.0 and I have my own custom private blog network that does most of the heavy lifting (mad link juice). I make sure all the content on these websites that has links in pointing to my own website is high quality. No of that spun rubbish. I'm fairly sure I've already passed a manual Google review. I don't know how anyone can sleep at night with a spammy backlink profile it would terrify me. I'd constantly be worried about losing my websites and all my earnings.

UI / WebDesign
People mostly concentrate on pumping out content and building backlinks. Don't get me wrong this works but you should really put some effort into making the most of the traffic you get. For example here are just a few things I've learnt about a niche websites appearance and how it has an impact on sales.

  • Buy good hosting - Buy good hosting for your website. Slow load times, annoy users and they will just click the back button and go to a competitor. This no only means you lose a sale but CTR is now a Google ranking factor. So your site will go down in the SERPs and theirs will go up!
  • Invest in a good paid premium theme - You'd be surprised how much a good looking website/theme will keep users on your website (lower your bounce rate) and also help them trust your website and your Amazon reviews. Professionalism helps trust. You want them to trust your reviews and buy the products you recommend.
  • Split testing - Test, test and test some more. Don't just throw up a product table with a buy from Amazon button and forget about it. Test out different buttons for a few weeks. Test out different product tables too.

Niche / Keyword selection
Niche and keyword selection is critically important. Most Amazon niches now have some degree of competition these days. Here are a few tips and things I've picked up over the years.

  • Check there is enough search volume - Don't just pick a random niche because it looks cool. Pick something that enough OTHER people think is cool so that they'll be searching for it and your website will be there to help them making a buying decision. You can have the best website in the world but if hardly anyone is searching for the items you are reviewing its pointless.
  • Love your niche - You really do have to become an expert in your niche if you want to dominate. The best type of visitor is one that found your website and loved it so much they actually remembered it and have directly come back to it for help with their next Amazon purchase.

Amazon affiliate terms of service
How would you feel if you spent months building an niche Amazon affiliate website only for your Amazon account to be banned? You'd be pretty upset. I've had it happen. Read all the terms and keep updated when they email out the changes.

WOW thanks Jake that will really help out our readers. So what's next for the website?

Well I love my website and the niche. I've actually started doing a bit of gardening because of it haha! But I think I'm going to try and sell it soon. I quite like making things from scratch and its amazing seeing a website grow from nothing to a money making machine.

How much do you think you'll get for it and how does that process work exactly?

I typically try and get about x24 months of the websites earnings for them. Sometimes I'm knocked down a bit, it all depends which way the earnings are going at the time of the sale really. I typically use Flippa but I've heard its going down hill a bit recently so we'll see. EmpireFlippers.com is looking like a good second option.

Very cool and lucrative! Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today, this will really help our readers out.

No problem, glad I could help.

If you feel like this post would help other Amazon affiliates we'd love a share!

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