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How I Made $32,000 in 12 Months with Amazon Niche Sites (And Why They Still Work)

Over the past 12 months, I have made $32,860.02 in affiliate income with Amazon niche websites.​

​I decided to start this website to document and share my strategies, tactics, and resources that helped me earn that (mostly) passive income by building and growing Amazon niche websites. 

Here is how I did it.

I’ve put together a list of 21 Tips and Tricks for succeeding with Niche Sites.

Just click the button below, add your email address, and I’ll send you the free PDF guide.

Click Here to Download

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First, Some Results

A lot of gurus tell you how to make money online without actually making any real money online themselves.  So before I get to my thoughts on why Amazon niche sites are the best way for someone to get started making money online today, and how exactly I've been able to do it, I wanted to provide just a couple of screenshots from my Amazon account.

What you're looking at here is my Amazon sales from this past December, my best month ever (thank you, Christmas season). After accounting for a few minor wedding registry sign-ups that aren't represented here, my total actually hit just over $5,000 for this one month.

It's not just the Christmas season when I've been able to earn decent income, either. This screenshot above is taken from last month, March 2015, where I earned over $3,500 with Amazon niche sites.

  • Why I prefer niche sites to authority sites.
  • Why Amazon is the only affiliate you need.
  • How I select a niche.
  • How I research my keywords and competition.
  • How I select a product-category to promote.
  • How I build-out my sites.
  • What I use for backlinks.

I’ve put together a list of 21 Tips and Tricks for succeeding with Niche Sites.

Just click the button below, add your email address, and I’ll send you the free PDF guide.

Click Here to Download

Why Niche Sites Still Work

Before I outline the steps I took to building a successful Amazon niche site, I need to discuss niche sites specifically, and Amazon as an affiliate partner.

Niche sites have lost their appeal a bit lately due to the massive PBN de-indexing by Google back in September. Spencer Haws, the first niche blogger I really started to read religiously, wrote this soon after his PBN was de-indexed:

​"So, what kind of niche sites will I build going forward? Well, to be honest, I probably won’t be building many niche sites. Perrin and I stopped building new small niche sites almost 6 months ago. About 2 months ago, we started a new site and that will probably be the last one we start new in a long time."

I think a lot of website builders feel the same way. Google is always making things harder on us. But I’m here to tell you that building niche sites to rank in Google to earn Amazon affiliate income still works.

Is it without risk? Of course not. (More on that below). But as far as I’m concerned, there isn’t a better way for someone who is just getting started out online and looking to make a little passive income. Why am I such a big fan of niche sites?

Authority Sites vs Niche Sites

So-called authority sites are very popular these days, and I think they certainly have their appeal. But I still think sticking with smaller niche sites, monetized with Amazon affiliate links, is the way to go, especially for people just starting out.

Niche Sites Are Easy to Set Up

You can set-up a fully-functioning niche site in literally one day if you wanted to. I don’t recommend moving that fast, but it’s possible: all you need is a domain and hosting provider, a WordPress install, a theme, some plug-ins, and maybe five pages of review content to start off with.

My best performing site which currently brings in around $2,200 per month in the home appliance niche has exactly 7 total pages that are indexed: 4 money pages (one is technically a "post"), the home page (which isn’t monetized), an About page, and a Contact page. (The Privacy and Terms pages are set to not be indexed). Seven pages. That’s it.

Only 7 pages of indexed content

Niche Sites Are Cheap to Set Up

It’s possible to start a niche site right now for as little as the cost of a domain name and hosting. You can use a free WordPress theme, write your own content, and try to attain white-hat backlinks, which won’t cost you a dime. Do I recommend taking that route?

No.

I believe in spending a little money up front to get better (and faster results). This means doing proper keyword research with a tool like Long Tail Pro, purchasing a premium theme like Thrive Themes so your site looks professional, hiring writers to create your content, paying for links (or building your own PBN) to rank your site, etc. Even with those costs, you should be able to get a site up and running with a couple hundred dollars.

Niche Sites Are Lean

When you’re managing a niche site, or a portfolio of sites, it can largely be a one-man operation (you). There are no full-time employees to pay and look after (like you have with an authority site).

You will hire-out for certain tasks, especially content creation and maybe link-building, but those are one-off jobs that don’t require much oversight, and you’re paying only for individual tasks, as opposed to a salary or monthly retainer.

Niche Sites Are Mostly Passive

Don’t get me wrong, setting up a successful Amazon affiliate site requires a LOT of work up-front.

But once you have the site built out, and once you have your systems in place, you can enjoy a truly passive income stream. That site I mentioned above in the home and garden niche making $2,200+ each month? I haven’t added any new content, or pointed any new backlinks to it in over six months. All of the revenue over that time has been completely passive.

Niche Sites Are Agile

There are definitely risks that come along with building an affiliate site using gray-hat link-building tactics. The fact is that your site has a very real, decent chance of getting hit with a Google penalty.

Sometimes you can recover from the penalty: my $2,200/mo. site was hit by both a Panda update (September 2014) and a Penguin Update (October 2014, which completely knocked it out of the SERPs), and I was able to recover it using a 301-redirect technique. (This was back when I still really sure what I was doing, in terms of risk mitigation).

But sometimes you can’t recover. And when that happens, you have to know when it’s time to pivot to a brand new site and start from scratch. The thing about the niche site business is that it’s very agile, meaning when one thing (or one site) is no longer working, you can quickly move on to the next.

What about Authority Sites?

These days, authority sites all the rage. And I can certainly see the appeal. I’m not here to crap all over the authority site model, not at all.

There are a lot of great authority sites out there today, such as Nerd Fitness and Survival Life, which have tons of content, teams of writers, and their own products and services that they sell. It’s a ton of work, but potentially very profitable.

But right now, they’re not for me. Why not? Here are some things to keep in mind about authority sites before you go out and try to build one.

Authority Sites Are Time Intensive

Building out a website using purely white-hat tactics takes a TON of time. You have to flood your site with quality, engaging content -- and a lot of it. If you’re starting out from scratch without any networking in place (i.e. you’re starting a fitness site but don’t know any other fitness bloggers), it’s going to take a long time to build relationships and get your content out there. Spencer has been working on his authority site since July of last year.

And, if you're like me, with a full-time day job and a wife/family, finding the time to devote to an authority site is extremely difficult.

Authority Sites Aren’t a Magic Income Bullet

Just because you build out a great authority site with lots of helpful and engaging content doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be making money off it. Again, Spencer is more than 9 months into his authority site, and how much website-related* income did it generate in March?

$37.39.

Let me be clear here: this is not meant to bash Spencer and Perrin in ANY WAY about their site.

Spencer is a pioneer in the niche field and I read all of his content. He knows more about this stuff than I ever will.

My point is that even if you put in all the hard work that he and his team have done, you aren’t necessarily going to make a lot of money. It takes a lot of hard work and time, and I'm sure Spencer would be the first person to tell you that.

*I write “website-related income” because that’s how much the site itself made from Adsense in March. They made much more selling Kindle books ($900+).

Authority Sites Require a Lot of Capital

Think about it: if you want to be a true authority in your field, you must product a LOT of content.

Take NerdFitness.com. They have 144,000 pages indexed in Google!

Of course, that doesn’t mean that they actually wrote 144,000 pieces of content, but that gives you the idea of the type of scale they operate on. And content costs money.

Here’s what Perrin had to say about the type of resources required to launch and operate his and Spencer’s authority site:

So, around three months after the launch of their authority site, Spencer and Perrin had added 160 articles, of which 55 of them were ~3,000 words each. And they were paying their writer $1,000 per month to produce the content necessary to operate a site of this size.

UPDATE: It looks like Spencer has decided to pump the brakes on his authority site project. 

Also, he reveals in more detail how much money and resources they were spending to maintain the site​: $3,000 per month.

Authority Sites Require a Team

Which leads to this next point. Do you think you can pump out 160 articles over three months just by yourself? Of course not: you would need to hire a writer, or more likely a team of writers, just to handle your content. And this is not just a one-off hire to write your product reviews; these are effectively part-time employees that you must pay and manage.

Now, if you feel like you can handle all of these tasks, and have the required start-up capital, then that’s great. I’m not here to tell you to never start an authority site. If you can execute it well, it can certainly pay off.

I just wanted to draw the distinctions between Amazon niche sites and authority sites, and why I much prefer the former.

Why Amazon?

Before I bought this domain and gave my site a name, I wondered if I should really limit the scope to simply covering Amazon affiliate sites. After all, there are tons of affiliates out there, so why not write about them too? And the answer is because I’ve never used them. Amazon is the only affiliate network I’ve ever used, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Why is that?

Amazon is Trusted

When someone does a Google search and then lands on your product review page, think about it from their perspective: they’ve never seen your site before, have never heard about you, and know nothing about your brand. In short, they have no reason to trust you. Google, by ranking your site high in the SERPs, has effectively told them that your site could be helpful, but that’s the extent of it.

So if that is the mindset of your reader when they hit your site, and you try to sell them something, you have to be very cautious. Personally speaking, I don’t want to send them off to some shady ClickBank product that no one has ever heard of. Why would your reader trust that entire buying process, from clicking your unknown website over to a random affiliate product that’s trying to get them to buy something?

Amazon changes that entire dynamic. When you send a reader off to Amazon, your job is done.

The fact that your reader may not have necessarily trusted your site is irrelevant once they land on Amazon, because Amazon is the single most trusted online retailer in the entire world. When a customer hits Amazon from one of your affiliate links, they have all but forgotten about your site. And that’s a good thing.

Amazon is Huge & Familiar

Amazon did nearly $30 billion in revenue in Q4 2014. Every single person who shops online is familiar with Amazon. They’re huge. But you already knew that.

Amazon Sells Products Other Than The Ones You're Promoting

Amazon’s commission are considered low in the affiliate space -- I consistently hit either the 7.5% or 8.0% commission rates -- but this is partially offset by the fact that when you refer a customer to Amazon, you are eligible to receive a commission not just on the product you sent them there for, but on any other product that they may purchase (within the 24-hour cookie period).

This means that if you’re selling a $100 stroller on your site and a reader clicks your link over to Amazon, and that reader also purchases a $300 crib, you get commissions for both products.

I haven’t done the full analysis with my own portfolio, but I estimate that a full 20% of my earnings come from products that I don’t even promote on my sites.

Amazon Knows What They're Doing

You don’t do $30 billion in a single quarter without knowing how to sell. You know how all those marketing bloggers spend so much time talking about how to master conversions and upsells?

Amazon has this down to a science.

They upsell better than anyone. Which means that once you get a reader over to Amazon via your affiliate link, you can leverage the knowledge and expertise and scale of their entire sales funnel to your advantage.

How I Went from Zero to $32,000 in 12 Months

I’ve put together a list of 21 Tips and Tricks for succeeding with Niche Sites.

Just click the button below, add your email address, and I’ll send you the free PDF guide.

Click Here to Download

The Beginning

I am not an expert.

I had never even heard of niche sites until sometime around 2010 when I somehow came across Pat Flynn’s well-known SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com case study. I read Pat’s blog for a while, without taking any action on my part. Pat then led me to Spencer over at Niche Pursuits, and it was then and there that I eventually discovered his and Perrin’s Niche Site Project with APennyShaved.com.

In January of 2014, I decided it was time to take action.

In the beginning, there was much confusion and frustration. When I first started out, I had no idea what I was doing. Outside of watching some of Pat’s videos, I had no clue how to register a domain with Bluehost or install WordPress, let alone know anything about creating content and building links. SEO was a term I was only vaguely familiar with.

I did a LOT of things wrong.

For my first site, I didn’t spend nearly enough time on keyword research (a common mistake) and picked a niche which, on the surface, was much too difficult to rank for. I didn’t want to spend any money, so I didn’t invest in a premium theme, I didn’t outsource my content, and I didn’t want to pay for links.

So my original site ended up looking like crap, the “reviews” were a joke since I had written them myself and had no interest or knowledge about the niche, and my links were all forum spam-type junk (which I believe eventually led me to receiving a Penguin penalty).

But I also got extremely lucky.

Yes, my very first niche site is the same site that is currently my biggest earner, the one in the home and garden niche that has made more than $27,000 of my overall $32,000 in revenue over these past 12 months.

I remember being two months into the site, it wasn’t ranking anywhere in the SERPs, it wasn’t getting any traffic, and it certainly wasn’t earning any money. I was ready to give up on it entirely, and then I read a post on some random blog (I wish I could remember which blog) that mentioned buying backlinks on Fiverr (bear with me here) -- not one of those “I’ll send 2,000 links to your site for $5” jobs, but people who owned actual “blogs” with real Page Authority who would offer up “guest posts” in exchange for $5 and a link back to your money site.

And it worked.

Important: This was back in January 2014, when I was a beginner and had nothing to lose. I no longer use Fivver for buying links and do NOT recommend that you try it either. It will likely result in a Google slap down.

My Fiverr Orders

Over the course of 2014, I ended up spending more than $500 on Fiverr, mostly on these types of links. I launched the site in January, and here is the trajectory of the Amazon affiliate income I started earning:

Now, this wasn’t all due to Fiverr links. Sometime around May I started experiencing with PBNs (more below) and those certainly helped. But if I had never bought those first set of Fiverr links, I probably would never have earned a dime.

As I mentioned, this site was (predictably) hit with multiple Google penalties, but I’ve been able to recover most of the earnings, and just this past month it did over $2,400 on its own.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves talking about link building. As any affiliate site owner knows, it all starts with niche selection and keyword research.

My Portfolio of Niche Sites

I currently have only four niche sites that I am actively trying to build out. I started my first one, as I mentioned, in January 2014. It started earning money, and I got so excited that I immediately launched three more in June 2014 thinking I could duplicate its success.

Here's what my current portfolio looks like, with March 2015 earnings for each.

Site

Niche

March 2015 Earnings

Niche Site 1

Home & Garden

$2,402.11

Niche Site 2

Health

$922.04

Niche Site 3

Hobbies

$89.90

Niche Site 4

Gadgets

$6.31

A couple of notes here:

  • Niche Site 1 has been running on auto-pilot since it recovered from the Penguin penalty in October 2014; no new content or links since then. I honestly think it could get hit in the next Penguin refresh.
  • Niche Site 2 is the one I've been spending the most time and resources on lately. In October, this site earned only $47.22. I believe it's the one with the most earning potential.
  • I had been neglecting Niche Sites and 3 and 4 for a while, but have started devoting resources to link-building to them recently.  Just in the past couple weeks I've started to see a nice bump with NS4.

Niche Selection

I wish there was some magic formula I could give you to pick your niche, but it’s more intuition and brainstorming than anything else.

The general idea is to take a broad niche, and try to narrow it down to a specific type of product or group of products that you could promote. For example, in Spencer’s survival knife series, he targeted a large community of people who are passionate about a hobby (the survival lifestyle), and he then zeroed in on a specific product (the survival knife) that he could promote.

Or take Perrin’s electric razor example. The shaving and beard market is huge; all guys need to shave, and there is a community of people who are very passionate about growing beards. So Perrin zeroed in on a couple of specific products (safety razor and electric shaver) that he could focus on.

I’m not going to reveal my own money sites (or niches) here for obvious reasons, but this is a similar tact that I take. Think about a potential niche, and then see if there’s a community of passionate people who will spend money on products.

Reddit is a great place to check. Their Survival page has more than 63,000 members.

Survival Life’s Facebook page has nearly 800,000 likes!

Speaking of Facebook and finding other online communities, Glen from ViperChill has an excellent post about identifying these niches, where he examines the magic niche.

But this isn’t the only way to select a niche. Not every product category that sells well has a community of people that want to engage in discussion around it. I can’t image there are many people passionate about toaster ovens, for example, but that doesn’t mean that tons of people don’t buy them.

And that’s exactly what happened with Niche Site 1, in the home and garden. This is a product category that does NOT have any community of like-minded people who love to talk about it, no Reddit groups, no Facebook pages. But it’s a necessity that people need in their homes.

So both approaches can certainly work.

UPDATE: I wrote a post here about how I go about finding a niche to enter by checking out the listings over at the Empire Flippers Marketplace.

Keyword Research & Competition

Once you have your niche, you need to focus on keywords. I wouldn’t call myself an “expert” in this area, I’m just going to tell you how I go about it, and why it works for me.

  • I only target two very specific type of keywords when I’m doing my research: “best [type of product]” and “[type of product]” reviews”.

For example: “best survival knife” and “survival knife reviews”. Are there dozens of potentially other keywords that you could target? Probably. But part of my success has been my ability to focus only only a few things at a time. So I like to stick to researching only those two types of keywords.

I’m not going to try and reinvent the wheel when it comes to KW research. I plan on doing a full post on it eventually, but for now take a look at Tung Tran’s post on his method.

UPDATE: I've published my review of Long Tail Pro and how I use it to do keyword research. You can read it here.

What it boils down to is that you should buy yourself a copy of Long Tail Pro, and start playing around with different keywords.

Generally you want to target a keyword that has a Keyword Competitiveness score of 30 or under. This number is a calculation that the software makes to give you an idea of how difficult it will be to outrank your competition.

  • I'm not breaking any news here when I tell you that Long Tail Pro is the best keyword research tool on the market today. It's what I use EVERY single time I even think about starting a new niche site.

I also like to simply run my search into Google. Who is currently ranking in the top 5-7 spots? Are they all authority sites, like Consumer Reports and Good Housekeeping? Or are there other niche sites ranking in there too?

I’ll be honest, I used to only look for KWs where other niche sites were ranking somewhere in the top 5 spots. I figured that would mean that I could rank there, too. That’s still the case, but now I’m not afraid of a more authoritative competitor. For Niche Site 1, two of my most profitable KWs, I am outranking Consumer Reports and TopTenReviews.com. With a well-optimized money page and the right backlinks, I’m convinced that a niche site can outrank any true authority site.

Let’s go back to Perrin’s shaving example, for “best electric shaver”.

What’s that you see? Oh, just an affiliate site outranking both Consumer Reports, and AskMen.com, two real authority sites.

Search Volume

You also want to take a look at search volume. Just because you have a low KC score doesn’t mean it’s a winning keyword. Are people actually typing your phrase into Google? I don’t have a hard and fast rule for this one, but I prefer that my main keyword have at least 1,500 local monthly searches to make it worth my while, and preferably 3,000 or more.

Here’s a screenshot for Niche Site 2 showing my current SERP rankings and the search volume to give you an idea for what I like to look for:

Product Pricing

But you can’t judge a winning keyword just on competition search volume either. You also need to know how much the products in your niche are selling for. You could sell 50 items a month but if that product only sells for $10 and you receive a 7% comission, you’re only going to make $35. If you have an item on the other hand that sells for $100 and you sell 50 of them in a month at a 7% rate, then you’ve just made $350.

  • With Niche Site 1 (4,000 - 8,000 LMS), most of the products range from $50 to more than $300, with an average sale I’d say of around $150-$200.

    For Niche Sites 3 and 4, the products are more in the $40-$80 range, but their search volume is much higher (12,000 -18,000 LMS).

Let me show you what I mean.

What you’re looking at above is a snapshot of just part of my Earnings Report from my Amazon account from March of products that I sold through Niche Site 1.

For those of you new to Amazon, here’s what the columns represent, from left to right: Item Price, My Commission Rate, Number of Units Sold, Total Revenue to Amazon, and then My Total Commission.

You’ll see for that month, for that one site, I had several items sell for $130 or more. That is the key to having a profitable site: selling high-priced items!

You’ll also notice in the middle of that image one particular product that sells for $200, of which I sold 20 units: so for just that ONE product, in one month, I earned $320 in affiliate income.

Here’s another screenshot, this time from that same health niche alluded to above:

This is also from March, but it’s for Niche Site 2 that currently does around $600-800 per month. Right now this site doesn’t do a lot of volume in terms of total units sold, but you see that the products themselves are priced quite high. This is a strategy that I have found works quite well: target a product category that may not do a ton of volume, but whose products are expensive.

  • The best way that I've found to find ideal Amazon products, however, is with the AmaSuite 4 software.  It helps you identify Top 100 products on Amazon for you to promote. I plan on doing a full review of the software in a later post, but I've found that it's definitely been worth the investment.

UPDATE: You can check out my full review of the AmaSuite 4 software here.

You can then take your product ideas and plug them into this resource from Steve Rendell and one of his buddies, who put together this really cool tool that lets you estimate how much money an Amazon site could potentially earn, based on things like keyword search volume, long-tail search volume, SERP position, conversion rates, and product prices.

Creating Your Site

UPDATE: I've written an entire post on how I structure and write content for my niche sites.

Now that you’ve selected your market, niche, and products that you’re going to promote, it’s time to build out the actual site. I’m not going to walk you through how to sign up for hosting and install WordPress in this post (maybe another time), but once you’ve got that setup, it’s time to design and get your site set up.

For me, it boils down to two things: your theme, and your written content (reviews).

Themes

Some niche site builders don’t believe in spending money on premium themes, and I’m totally fine with that. I'm not going to tell you that you NEED to buy a premium theme.

But for my sites, I like them to look good. When a potential buyer does a search on Google and lands on my page, I want them to trust the look and feel of my site. I truly believe that makes the reader more comfortable with what I’m trying to convey to them. And if they trust your site because it looks professional, they’re more likely to stay on your page, read your content, and click on one of your links.

  • I have used other premium themes in the past now,  but right now I have been using Thrive Themes and I’ve been very pleased. It's what this blog is running on. I plan on doing a full review of Thrive Themes and their excellent Thrive Content Builder (which is how I'm creating this very post) in a future series.

Reviews

Of course, you could have the most elegant theme on the entire internet, but if your content sucks, it doesn’t really matter.

Amazon niche sites are built around the idea of proving great product reviews.

Again, I build my sites with just two keyword-constructions: “best [product category” and “[product category] reviews”. This means that when a reader visits my site from Google, they are expecting a great review of the product they are thinking of buying.

When I first started out, my product reviews were only 250 words each! Now, I aim to produce a page that has at least 4,000 words, reviewing a handful of products in a single product category. The absolute Holy Grail of product reviews right now is from the guys over at The Wirecutter; pick any random review of theirs, like this one, and you will see what I’m talking about.

Of course, chances are you won’t be able to produce content of that length and quality. I certainly can’t, but it’s what I strive for, and it’s how I structure my reviews on all of my sites. Not only do I believe reviews like this are beneficial in regards to your readers, but I feel the same way with Google as well. You want to make your niche site as “natural” as possible, and in-depth content certainly helps that cause.

How do you write a review for a product you’ve never actually used? See Human Proof Designs for this great post.

  • Personally, I hate writing product reviews, so I pay someone that I found on Textbroker to write them for me. I pay him .24 cents per word, and he typically writes between 600-1200 words each review for each product. It makes my process much more efficient.

Want an Amazon site built for you? I recommend Human Proof Designs to do this for you.

Update: I've made a guide for getting traffic to niche sites. Download it here.

Getting Started with The Hoth

Link-building is a hot topic in the niche site field, but people make it far more complicated than it was to be. For me, it is a two-step process. And it all starts with building a nice set of layered backlinks from The Hoth.

Instead of trying to explain exactly what The Hoth does, let's first look at their product visually.

Your money site, your niche site, is way up there at the top. What The Hoth does is create a number of Tier 1 properties, such as WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogspot blogs, and puts unique content on them relevant to your niche. These properties are set to link back to your money page.

Then, they create web 2.0 articles and point them to the ​Tier 1 properties, to infuse them with some link juice.

Then they create another layer of links, such as social bookmarking and forum profiles, and and blast those at your Tier 1 level properties as well.​

They slow-drip these over several weeks, making it appear more natural.​

When I start out with a new site, I will typically order The Hoth ​Platinum package with Filipino content, which gets you eight Tier 1 properties, each with three unique articles, for a cost of $250.

UPDATE: My full review of The Hoth is up.

My Experience with PBNs: They Still Work

The Hoth will definitely get you started on the right foot, but they won't get you all the way there. For that, you're going to need PBN links.

UPDATE: My semi-private PBN is open for e-mail subscribers. 

As I mentioned, when I first started out building niche sites, I had no idea what I was doing, and I used Fiverr for link-building. And it worked. I did this for maybe 3-4 months. But since my site was starting to earn real money, I became worried about a potential Google penalty (which eventually came anyway) due to using the Fiverr links. So I stopped. And that’s when I pivoted to using PBNs.

Here’s the truth about PBNs: they still work.

UPDATE: I've written a full post on how I use PBNs to rank my sites.​

Do a search in Google for nearly any product-niche keyword, and you will likely find a site ranking near the top of the SERPs that got there by using a PBN.

Let’s look an an example. Go ahead and type “best digital piano” into your Google search. This is a keyword with 1,900 LMS (and 1,600 for “digital piano reviews”) and products on Amazon that sell for hundreds of dollars. As of this writing, here are the SERPs that I see:

That’s three niche sites in the top six results. Let’s take the second result and head on over to Moz.com and type in the URL.

Here are the backlinks that we see:

The top three domains, all PA44 or higher, are PBN links. And this just shows the few domains that this webmaster hasn’t hidden from the backlink crawlers. He surely has many, many more PBN links than this.

Again, you can do this for nearly any applicable keyword, and see the same thing, over and over again. Bottom line: PBN links still work great for ranking niche sites.

My Experience with PBNs

How have I used PBNs to rank my own site? At first, I used a couple of services. One was a private service from Doug over at Niche Site Project.

These were top-notch services, where I purchased posts on their sites for around $30-$50 per post (no, they’re not cheap), on domains with PAs between PA30 and PA45 or so. I was definitely pleased with the results, as it helped my sites rank even higher. Once Google slapped down on PBNs, however, I stopped using them.

That is to say: I stopped using public PBNs.

When you’re in the niche site game, you’re always competing with Google. So in an effort to decrease my risk, I decided it was time to start building out my own PBN. I’m not going to go over everything I did in this post, but I’ll outline what I’ve been doing, and what’s been working.

Right now, I have over 40 domains in my PBN portfolio. Here’s a screenshot of just the ones hosted with Namecheap.com.

Finding expired domains is definitely a little tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. So at first, I used a service to find them for me. Dan Thompson, who now does local SEO, ran a service (along with his friend Curt) called Domain Colosseum, where they would find the expired domains for you, register them, and then push them to your account. I was paying on average $40 for each domain. I ordered some domains from them as a private client as well. They provided an excellent service.

Now, I have been scraping my own expired domains using ExpiredDomains.net. It definitely takes some getting used to, and it’s a bit of a process, but I like how I can control exactly how many domains I need, and I can control my costs (just the registration and hosting fees).

I plan on doing a future post where I dive a little bit deeper into how I use PBNs, so stay tuned.

It Takes Time to Rank

If you think you can get a domain, throw up some reviews, buy some backlinks, and start ranking and making money in a month, I've got some bad news for you: these days, it takes a LOT of time to rank well in Google.

How long? These days I'm finding that it's taking at LEAST 4-6 months to start ranking​, and sometimes even longer to start making real money. 

So, patience is key here. When you're just starting out, you should be focusing on the look and design of your site, and building out great, useful content. I wouldn't start worrying about building links at least until you're three months into it.​

Google Penalties: The Risk Factor

You knew this was coming. 

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: building niche sites with gray-hat link-building tactics comes with very real risk. I’ve only been building and operating sites for 15 months or so, and I’ve certainly grown a lot smarter along the way, but I’ve been hit with every Google penalty imaginable: Panda and Penguin (in back to back months for the same site), and the dreaded manual “thin content” penalty which is really a penalty (I believe) for using PBNs.

As I mentioned, the Panda penalty sapped about 40% of my earnings from my highest-earning site, while Penguin (which I recovered from; a post for another time) knocked it completely out of the SERPs. The manual penalty was on a site that was only six months old and had just started ranking and earning, but I find manual penalties MUCH harder to recover from, so I took that one as a loss.

This is by far the biggest downside to the niche site game. One day, you can be earning an average of $100 every day, and then, the next day, out of nowhere and without warning, you’re earning $0. You can be as cautious as humanly possible in your link-building, but there’s no guarantee Google won’t catch you.

But that’s the game we play, and if you’re going to be a niche site builder, you have to accept it as part of the rules. Just be aware of the risks going into it. Besides, even white-hat sites trying to play by all of the rules can get hit with a Panda update.

Tools I Use

One last piece of advice that I alluded to above is that in order to make money, you’re going to have to spend a little money, too. No, you don’t have to go crazy like you would with an authority site, but in order to find a profitable niche and then build out a well-designed, well-written content that’s going to convert well, you would be wise to invest in some high-quality products. Here are just some of the tools I use when I’m building my sites.

I plan on creating full reviews of all of these in the coming months.
  • Bluehost: domain and hosting provider I've been using since Day 1.
  • Long Tail Pro: the best keyword research tool on the market today, hands down.
  • Thrive Themes: beautifully designed themes, like the one you're reading now.
  • Thrive Content Builder: content editor that creates beautiful pages, easily.
  • AmaSuite: must-have software for quickly finding profitable Amazon products.
  • Elf Links: completely hides any trace of affiliate links on your site from Google.
  • The Hoth: great first-line link-building service that I use with every site I build.

Acknowledgements

This has been a very long post (more than 6,000 words, if you’ve made it this far), and I don’t want to give off the impression that I think I know everything, or that I came up with these ideas all on my own.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

What is true is that I read TONS of blog content to learn every aspect of my approach. I’m sure I’m forgetting some people, but I just wanted to give a public THANK YOU to the following people/sites, in no particular order, for pumping out all the great content that they do that inspired me to get started with building Amazon niche sites.

Thank You

Patt Flynn, Smart Passive Income

Spencer Haws and Perrin Carrell, Niche Pursuits

Matthew Allen, Dumb Passive Income

Doug Cunnington, Niche Site Project

Stuart Walker, Niche Hacks

Steve Rendell, Texfly

Dom Wells, Human Proof Design

Tung Tran, Cloud Living

Dan Thompson, My Local SEO

THANKS FOR READING: As a special bonus for this post, I have created a 21-point tips & tricks checklist to building a profitable Amazon niche site. Click the button below for your free copy.

Note: you will be sent a confirmation email to confirm your email address. You must click the link in the confirmation email to complete your sign-up process.

Mike Bradford
 

Hi there, I'm Mike, the guy behind Niche Site Azon. I made $32,000 in 12 months with Amazon niche sites. This blog is where I share my tips, tricks, and tactics to building and profiting from Amazon affiliate sites.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 101 comments
Steve - April 25, 2015

Awesome post Mike – that’s how you write ’em!

Agree massively with Amazon niche sites and using PBN’s to rank – it’s a valid tactic that still is working well today. Many people turn their noses up at the 6% initial commission from Amazon but like you said they are so good at up-selling and cross promoting when people buy things.

Many times I have sold a sub $100 item where they also bought $500 worth of other related gear. Getting the commission on all of that is a very nice sweetener.

One tip (from my buddy Chris Guthrie) is to ensure that you also promote a smaller item that has a lot more sales.

If you were in the home appliances niche – promoting and ranking for a popular $20 sandwich toaster model will easily get you up to the 7.5% commission level which applies retrospectively for the whole month. If you usually sell only a handful of big ticket items, this can mean a decent bump in your affiliate earnings!

Steve

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 5, 2015

    Sorry, Steve — they threw you in the spam folder, and I just realized it!

    Yep, good tips with selling the smaller items to bump up your commissions. It makes a huge difference going from 6.5% to 8% a month.

    Reply
Alistair Cochrane - April 26, 2015

That’s great Mike!! It’s good to hear niche sites are still alive and kicking!

Now that you are earning decent cash now is the time to diversify a bit in case a future google slap gets you somehow ))

Reply
    Mike Bradford - April 26, 2015

    Thanks for stopping by, Alistair!

    Yes, I fear the eventual Google slap is coming very soon! It’s like a cat and mouse game.

    Reply
Matthew Allen - April 26, 2015

Hey Mike – sweet post man! I didn’t read it word for word yet – I just scanned. But I definitely plan to read the whole thing. Just saw my name at the bottom of the post and wanted to give you a shout. Looks like you’re doing amazingly well! I’m glad my blog was one that inspired you. And now you’re an inspiration for me.

One of my biggest goals is to get my Amazon income up in the few thousand per month level – and I’m currently working hard on my current Amazon sites, trying to get them to rank. And also adding some new Amazon sites.

Good Day!

Reply
    Mike Bradford - April 26, 2015

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting, Matthew! I still read every post you write over at your site.

    Yep, the big PBN de-indexing by Google did strike a lot of fear into niche site builders and cleared the field a bit. The way I see it, that’s just more opportunity for us.

    Reply
Dan - April 26, 2015

Hey Mike,

I was wondering when someone would start writing about niche sites again. It feels like there is a big hole since the larger players more or less abandoned them in favor of authority sites.

Don’t quote me on this, but I remember reading/listening to a podcast which said something to the effect of:

Survival Life was failing (losing money) until the reigns were handed over. If you look back to 2012 in archive.org you’ll notice there is no members area. I wish I could find where I read that!

I’m putting together an interesting experiment that focuses on an alternative way to rank niche sites. It’s not new or rocket science, but I think a lot of people will find it very helpful.

Thanks for the shout out mate, and thanks for buying for myself & Curt when were still running our DC.

Reply
    Mike Bradford - April 26, 2015

    Hey Dan,

    Thanks for checking out the post. You guys ran a great service with DC and it definitely helped me rank my sites.

    That’s a real interesting point about Survival Life, I know they had acquired it at some point, but I didn’t realize how it was doing before then.

    When you’re done with your niche site experiment, feel free to let me know, and I’d be happy to spread the word. Sounds interesting.

    Reply
Tung Tran - April 27, 2015

Awesome post man! Niche sites definitely are still working for a lot of people!

I corrected myself too. PBN still works! But don’t use any public service. And always remember to consider the risk of getting penalized.

I’m testing the strategy of building a very small and dedicated PBN for each site I build to reduce the footprints. More investment per site but I feel safer.

Anyway, congrats on your success again! Just shared it with my Twitter followers 😀

Reply
    Mike Bradford - April 27, 2015

    Appreciate you stopping by, Tung.

    PBNs definitely still work. You either have to build them yourself, contract someone to build them for you, or maybe just a service that only allows say, maybe, 5-10 people on each individual network of sites.

    That’s an interesting strategy and one I’ve considered myself: keep us updated with how it goes!

    Reply
Dom Wells - April 27, 2015

Definitely found myself nodding in agreement throughout this post! Well said Mike.

Not only is it great to have more validation that niche sites are still working, it’s also great to see some solid arguments for them being better for beginners. I’ve been hammering on about this for months and I’m happy to see someone else joining in.

Seems like you’ve had a great success too.

Dom

Reply
Jon Haver - April 28, 2015

Great example of both following a model and finding success as well as great outreach for this post 😉

Really impressive start and definitely a great resource for many others looking to do the same thing!

Good luck moving forward.

Reply
    Mike Bradford - April 28, 2015

    Cheers, Jon — thanks for stopping by!

    Reply
Jane - April 28, 2015

Wow Mike!

Thanks for the share. This is so inspiring to read. I have just started my own niche site challenge and to get an income like you’ve listed just though niche sites is a dream. I have been going towards authority sites but your post gave me hope again. Will take a look at best and review keywords for my sites and see how they work out.

Looking forward to more inspiration from you!

Cheers
Jane

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 5, 2015

    Hi Jane,

    Sorry for the late reply — there were a couple of comments caught in the spam folder!

    Thanks for stopping by, and good luck.

    Reply
Sana - May 1, 2015

Heya Mike, nice post!

One question though: How are you able to bring traffic to your small niche sites since I can clearly see you want to reduce as many costs as possible?

Cheers!

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 1, 2015

    Thanks!

    The traffic is all organic Google traffic, from ranking on page 1 in the SERPs.

    For a while I was spending about $200 per month on PBN/link-building costs.

    Reply
Alex W - May 1, 2015

Great post Mike. I stumbled across your post from Reddit and picked up some great ideas to implement into my slowly declining website. Cheers and all the best.

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 1, 2015

    Thanks for swinging by, Alex. Glad you enjoyed the post, and good luck on your site!

    Reply
Lewis - May 4, 2015

Hey Mike,

Great post and an excellent start to the blog! It’s great to see others talking about niche sites, I am just completing on the sale of one of my sites and have already identified 4 more niches I want to get into.

There is certainly money to be made and your strategy looks very similar to mine!

Do you have any thoughts to sell your sites in the future? You could probably get 25-30x multiple…something to think about 🙂

– Lewis

P.S – Just wanted to let you know there is a link error in this sentence “See Human Proof Designs for this great post.”

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 5, 2015

    Thanks for stopping by, Lewis! Sorry for the slight delay, you too were also caught in the spam filter!

    I have thought about the possibility of selling it, but the fact that it was hit by Penguin gives me pause. I’m not sure it would be right. Maybe after the next Penguin update, to see if it’s still holding strong.

    Thanks for the heads up on the link!

    Reply
Anne - May 4, 2015

I found this site from Cloudliving & I’m glad that I’ve read this post. Great work Mike!

I’m building small niche site but I do have some problem getting quality content writers that can satisfy my requirement. I don’t have big budget and I saw that you spend $0.24 per word? Means that $240 for 1000word? :0 That’s expensive for me

I want to write by myself but I think that my grammar is not good enough so I should outsource the work.. Can I find good writers on Textbroker that charge affordable price? I currently spend on about $1.5 per 100 words. Any tips on how to find a good writers there?

All the best Mike!

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 4, 2015

    Hi Anne,

    Thanks for checking out the blog!

    I may may misplaced a decimal when I was writing that out, but it’s 2.4 cents per word, so for a 1,000 word article, I pay $24. And yes, that’s what I pay on Textbroke!

    Hope that clears up any confusion!

    Reply
      Ryan - June 21, 2015

      Hey Mike, thanks for this amazing post. I’ve just spent the past three hours going through your archives!

      I came here to ask about your payment rate too – in the post above you have .24 cents per word, which is almost a quarter and seems immensely generous. However I THINK you’re saying you pay two and a half pennies per word, which would be written as .024 cents, correct? If so, still a very nice rate, though a bit more reasonable 🙂

      Reply
        Mike Bradford - June 22, 2015

        Hi Ryan,

        Glad you’re enjoying the content!

        Ooops. Yes, 2.4 cents per word. I’ll fix. Thanks!

        Reply
Joel - May 4, 2015

thanks for the inspiring article and good luck i have 2 question
what hosting u use for ur pbn ? im having problem finding good hosting and reducing the foot print
for the affiliate income i saw that what u earn the same what they send u to ur bank account but me they take 30% tax so if i earn for example 100$ i recive only 70$ in my bank account how did u Manage not paying any tax ?

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 4, 2015

    Just Google “$1 hosting” and “$2 hosting”, and you will see all the different providers on Google. That’s how I did it.

    I guess it depends what country you’re in for taxes. They don’t take mine out on the front end, but don’t worry — I still have to pay mine at the end of the year! It’s definitely not tax-free income!

    Reply
Jesper - May 4, 2015

Hi Mike,
I am curious, do you think you are more likely to be punished by Google if you have PBNs or genuine fiverr blogs? Personally I think the dose makes the poison, at least to avoid automatic penalties. If you get a manual link review you are screwed either way? I just try to mix it up alot

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 4, 2015

    The problem with the Fiverr blogs is that each one of them has SO many outbound links, all pointing to different affiliate sites. At least with a private or semi-private PBN, you can limit the amount of OBL, decreasing your footprint.

    Reply
Colten - May 4, 2015

Hey Mike,

Great post and awesome site! I’ve been in the niche affiliate site game for awhile now and have been seeing success myself. Time to ramp it up though.

Quick question: I’ve known about Thrive themes for awhile and have always really liked them. I’m about to purchase a year (through your link to say thank you) to get everything and was wondering what themes you like best for your sites? Obviously I can modify them to my liking, but was just curious as to what Thrive theme you like best.

Thanks man! Signed up to your newsletter as well. Looking forward to it. I’m about to completely re-do my personal site and hope to have a solid foundation like yours soon. Keep it up.

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 4, 2015

    Thanks, Colten!

    As to the specific Thrive Themes, right now I’m really a big fan of the Focus Theme. I’m running a few of my niche sites on there.

    Appreciate you using my referral link, and signing up for the e-mail list!

    Cheers & good luck.

    Reply
John - May 4, 2015

Excellent post! How do you choose the expired domains for your PBN? What are the metrics you are looking for? Domain age, linking domains, TF/CF, PA/DA, Ahrefs?

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 5, 2015

    I *generally* try to shoot for PA30, DA20, TF/CF15, but if there’s one that’s below that, I’ll probably still take it. One thing a lot of people don’t realize about Moz PA is that it changes each month, and can bounce around quite a bit. I picked up a PA23 domain and a few months later it’s now a PA29.

    Reply
    Josh Kelly - May 8, 2015

    John,

    Steve Rendell (who commented early) has a really extensive guide to choosing and setting up PBNs, that I can recommend:
    http://www.texfly.com/build-a-private-blog-network/

    I also have a guide to spam checking expired domains for your PBN, and it also includes some specifics about what kind of metrics to look for.

    Reply
Yesh - May 5, 2015

Hey Mike!

Great, inspiring post. I’m in the Amazon affiliate site game myself, and currently waiting for 2 of my sites to rank. You’re 100% right when you say that Amazon niche sites take time to rank.

I’m very excited to read up on your upcoming PBN posts, because that’s where I’m headed too – building my PRIVATE blog network.

A few questions:

1. Do you manually search for domains in expireddomains.net? I tried scraping there, but I don’t find any good domains. I might be missing something.

2. How do you go about your PBN domains’ registration info? Do you use fake names and addresses or do you just use private whois?

Thanks man!

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 5, 2015

    Thanks, Yesh!

    1. I’ve been manually scraping right now. It takes a bit of time, but you can usually find some PA 30+ domains that way. Check out this guide: http://authoritywebsiteincome.com/ultimate-expired-domain-guide/

    2. Namecheap includes free whois, so I usually go that route.

    Reply
    Josh Kelly - May 8, 2015

    Yesh,

    there’s some many folks scraping these days that it’s hard to find quality domains just scraping from your computer. Also most of the ones you find while scrapping are spammy, so you spend a lot of time just sorting out the spam ones.

    Reply
Romain - May 7, 2015

Hey Mike,
Really inspiring to see so much success in so little time. I tried building my own PBN but it’s a major sticking point for me. I have 2 questions related to that:
– You have approx. 40 domains in you PBN, how many articles does each site have and how do you come up with so many article ideas? (let’s say each site has 10 articles, that’s 400 articles to think about…unless you have somebody else who comes with the article ideas?)
– Who writes all those articles for your 40 domains on your PBN?

Looking forward to your answers! As I said, I can’t wrap my head around the idea of creating so much content!

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 8, 2015

    Hi Romain,

    I have closer to 5 articles per domain to start, and then add to them once every so often.

    I have a writer from oDesk who does all my PBN writing. I give her general ideas to write about, and let her choose the specific topics.

    Reply
      john - May 15, 2015

      Mike,

      do you use all those 40 pbns for the 4 money sites you have ? or the 40 pbns is only for your 1 high earning money site ?

      Reply
        Mike Bradford - May 16, 2015

        These 40 are spread around. But the 2 big earning sites also have dozens of additional PBN links from other networks.

        Reply
          john - May 17, 2015

          thanks for the info Mike,

          i hope im not asking too much..
          those 40 spread around but is there like 1 of the 40 is linked back to both 2 money site or even 3 money site ? or you just use 1 pbn for 1 sometimes 2 ?

          Reply
          Mike Bradford - May 18, 2015

          Generally, each of my Amazon sites has their own dedicated network of PBNs. No cross-linking.

          Reply
Hooman - May 10, 2015

Hi Mike,congratulate your success my friend.I read your interview with Tung Tran in the Cloud Living,It was very inspiring post. I sent you an email and I am very grateful to you if send me your reply.Thanks and Good luck.

Reply
John - May 14, 2015

I remember the best survival knife – niche site … i throw some thoughts on this

1. Survival knife are expensive, meaning they are well-made, durable, so once you bought one, it make take some 5 years or more for an amazon buyer to look for a replacement

2. Humans got away with the food chain, so Surviving now becomes a hobby probably by the male gender.. it means Surviving with a knife is not a daily need, and becomes it might be used mostly by males, that makes it market small compare if its a uni-sex product. Same as best electric shaver <— its a single-gender based product and sure its a well-made product too that needs at least 3 years replacement.

A) Best knife sharpener on the other hand needs replacement cause sharpeners are used daily in gets damage constantly. This might need replacement every 6 months.

B) Driving factor – let say this product will always be part of real estate or housing development, and everyone in the family needs one, and it will be used daily so it needs replacement often.. the price is $200 to $1000 .

C) There is a way to create real Private blogs . it means owned by real people.

Reply
john - May 14, 2015

another idea behind Best Electric Shaver is that

1. if its electric it means there is a manual , so the sales will be split in half or that the electric shaver is just an optional and also for those who can afford ..

2. shaver are mostly used by male.. so its a gender based product. it would be best to pick a uni-sex product…

Reply
Cynthia - May 16, 2015

I found you through Cloudliving. Thanks so much for breaking it down, step by step and not complicating things like some of these other blogs do. Now, I just have to take action.

Do plan on using paid traffic in the future? Also, any plans to quit your job in the future?

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 16, 2015

    Thanks!

    I don’t think the math on the conversions makes sense from a paid traffic angle, though I haven’t fully tested it.

    And no, will definitely not be quitting my job anytime soon!

    Reply
John - May 17, 2015

Mike,
i posted this on on Tung’s blog, hope you dont mind im reposting it here.
may i know if your money pages dont have any videos with it? was the content mostly text, pictures and table press, amazon links only ? no youtube videos ?

is your 40 pbns all use wordpress cms ?

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 18, 2015

    I use YouTube videos if it’s a product that the reader would like to see in action before purchasing it.

    So if I was promoting a personal drone, I’d have a YouTube video. If I was promoting a toaster oven, I probably wouldn’t.

    Yes, all 40 WordPress.

    Reply
Frank Joseph - May 18, 2015

Hello Mike, This post might be in the spam folder… please unspam it 🙂

Thank you for writing detailed post on amazon. am always interested to learn more on amazon, even though i make a little money monthly.

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 18, 2015

    Thanks for your comment, Frank!

    Part of the battle with Amazon sites is that they DO take time to rank, and earn. We’re talking six months, most likely. So don’t give up!

    Reply
Miguel Alas - May 20, 2015

Hi Mike!
Great and huge post, your case is very inspiring as I´m in the very early process of building my firsts Amazon niche sites, so I´m about to begin with the niche search, I´ve already bought Amasuites, also have LTP and I´m planing to buy Fresh Store Builder instead of using WordPress.

Congratulations for your success, the hard work is showing the results and you know this only the beginning in this journey to the cloud living as Tung Tran says.

Cheers from El Salvador!

Reply
    Mike Bradford - May 20, 2015

    Hi Miguel,

    Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words!

    Good luck with your sites, and remember to be patient. It might take six months before you start seeing any real progress, so don’t give up!

    Reply
Suraja - June 9, 2015

Hi. Another good month it looks like. Well done.

I am looking to get started with the niche site.

What registrar do you recommend for domain?

Many wishes

suraja

Reply
    Mike Bradford - June 10, 2015

    Thanks, Suraja.

    Pick a registrar and go with it – it doesn’t matter. This are MINOR details you shouldn’t get bogged down with.

    I like Bluehost and Namecheap.

    Reply
Ella D. - June 14, 2015

Hello Mike, thanks for sharing tip on your blog. I want to start one niche site which I will monetize using using Amazon.

For my first niche site, do you think it will be good if I will I buy and use the expired domain (high PA/DA)? or It is okay if I will buy new domain name for my first new niche site?

thanks

Ella 🙂

Reply
    Mike Bradford - June 14, 2015

    Hi Ella!

    I’ve never used an expired domain to use as a domain for a niche site, so it’s hard for me to comment on that.

    I prefer buying brand new domains, even though it takes longer to rank.

    Reply
Corrin - June 25, 2015

Hi Mike! How are you? Hope you are having a good time!

I wanna ask you one thing, but first a brief intro

I entered in the Amazon Niche Site world last year. As you mentioned i started with Spencer too, and later in Tung´s blog and some other sources like yours right now (Really good! ;). It has been a long and though process of learning and even on the road.
I made a site but it had no success, i did not make an appropiate keyword research, and i entered in a market which was not profitable at all, but looking background i think it was great for learning.
.-

So here is the question, i know that nowadays it takes a long time to rank in Google´s first page, like you said about 4-6 months.

Lets suppose an ideal situation in which in the first week, I launch the site with all my content (20 articles aprox.), with a profesional design and with a solid link building strategy. Assuming i have a great SEO on Page targeting a low competitive keyword in SERPS (3000 LMS).

So, after doing that… I wait 4 months to start ranking in first page of google? Or what should i do? Please mention some tips to do during that time.

Thank you very much Mike, if you could guide me on this one i would be very gratefull, thanks a lot!

Regards,
Corrin

Reply
    Mike Bradford - June 26, 2015

    Hi Corrin,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    My answer to you would be to simply space out all your articles/content.

    Instead of launching with 20 articles at once, I would space those out over the course of 3 months, posting 6-7 times per month.

    Reply
      Corrin - June 27, 2015

      Thanks for answering Mike!

      I am doing keyword research right now, and its being very difficult for me to find the right profitable niche, but i wont give up ;)!

      Thanks for all the info
      Regards,

      Corrin

      Reply
Raj - July 7, 2015

You inspired to take action and now I just purchased almost all the products you mentioned there. My current goal is to get the sites running, get PR in top 5 if possible with monthly revenue target of $1000 in 3 months. Thanks for being the inspiration.

Reply
    Mike Bradford - July 7, 2015

    Good luck, Raj! Might take a little longer than 3 months, sites are taking a bit longer to rank these days. Don’t give up!

    Reply
Raj - July 11, 2015

Thanks for the heads up, Mike. What is your thought about easyazon plugin? Have you used in any of your sites?

Regards,
Raj

Please keep the good work.

Reply
    Mike Bradford - July 12, 2015

    Hi Raj,

    I’ve never used it before. Don’t think it’s compatible with Elf Links but I’ve heard good things.

    Reply
Susan - July 14, 2015

Hi Mike,

great read! I am wondering if you have any tips on keeping all the domains and sites organized. Do you have a spreadsheet? Thanks!

Reply
    Mike Bradford - July 15, 2015

    Hi Susan,

    Do you mean for my PBN sites? Yes, I keep a spreadsheet.

    Reply
Tony Chang - July 27, 2015

Hey Mike, Great read!

One newbie query:

You mentioned you were able to recover a Penguin-hit site with 301-redirect technique. Could you please explain, have you redirected the ‘niche domain’ to a new domain OR you just added more expired domains and 301-redirected them to this ‘niche domain’?

I’m following you.

Thanks

Reply
    Mike Bradford - July 27, 2015

    Hi Tony,

    I re-directed the penalized domain to a new one and I was able to recover my traffic probably 90% or so I’d estimate.

    Reply
      Henry - July 29, 2015

      Hi Mike,

      That’s a great success!

      I’ve add-on questions:

      1) Have you transferred all content of the ‘penalized domain’ to a new one as well?

      2) What about hosting and other personal details — all different or the same as earlier? I’ve a multi-site hosting account. Can I host new domain to the same account where the penalized domain is hosted?

      Some people warn that sooner or later the new site will be penalized.

      Thank you in advance!

      Reply
        Mike Bradford - August 2, 2015

        Hi Henry,

        1- The content was mostly the same, though I did mix it up a bit. Probably 50/50.

        2- Hosting the same, with WhoIs guard enabled.

        Reply
          Yash - August 6, 2015

          Hey Mike,

          Awesome man! It’s just come on right time for me. And, you’ve a new fan for your blog Niche Site Azon.

          Could you please tell how much time did it take to recover the lost traffic after 301-redirect?

          Thanks

          Reply
          Mike Bradford - August 6, 2015

          Hi Yash,

          The 301-redirect work pretty quickly — under 2 weeks if I remember correctly.

          Reply
Tony - August 17, 2015

Nice article. So what’s your thoughts on ranking an Amazon site without using a PBN? Highly unlikely?

Reply
    Mike Bradford - August 17, 2015

    Well, it’s going to be hard. You’re going to need links, and quite a bit. So if you’re not using PBNs, you’re going to have to do a whole bunch of guest posting. It’s just hard finding those opportunities.

    Reply
ken - September 9, 2015

I Thanks very much for your aswsome post, I like your blog very much, you mentioned that you built backlinks using the The Hoth and pbns, do you use some other backlinks, it doesn’t include backlinks from fiverr

Reply
    Mike Bradford - September 9, 2015

    Hi Ken, read my post on How to Grow Your Niche Site.

    Reply
Alex - September 16, 2015

Mike, thank a lot for sharing really great stuff. *value
Have one question: Do you buy drop domains for PBN. I mean it’s new age in whois? Or expiring with whois age.
Because drop domains are cheap. Pay only for registration fee. Bot expiring domains are very expensive about $150 per domain.

Thanks

Reply
Shadaan - October 1, 2015

Hello Mike, this is an amazing post and i learnt a lot from this. I am a newbie in amazon affiliate marketing and i really need your help. In your post you said that we should target on amazon products $50 and above if we want to get good commissions. I agree to that, but what should i do with some of the products i am promoting like Halloween Jewelry. Christmas Jewelry etc where the products are below $25. Also, i see that these jewelery etc have very little reviews. So what should i do? Should i leave the keywords related to halloween jewelry etc?

Since i am a newbie so i want to target low competition keywords only. Hope you respond

Reply
Abdo selim - February 10, 2016

you see it worth to spend time to working to build niche website ?

Reply
myandroidbd - February 19, 2016

very informative review. thanx for sharing 🙂

Reply
Kaycee - March 8, 2016

Hi Mike, I found your blog when searching for how to make more money with amazon niche sites. Presently i have 2 amazon niche sites but barely earn enough to pay for the websites hosting and a few bills.

Thanks for this amazing post i spotted one or two things have been doing wrong and the part i love most is the point that PBNs still works. I stopped using PBNs a while back guess i will have to start again.

Reply
Pers - April 2, 2016

Hi
Is very good post. I have found it very useful.
Nevertheless, I am still not being able to create comparison charts and boxes with stars and so on in my niche site since I do not know how.
Could you list any potential plugins or methods to do that?
It is supposed to be done with thrive content builder but still not being able,
do you know any tutorial?
Thanks

Reply
Owain Brown - April 18, 2016

Hi Mike,

What an inspiring read. I’ve been reading up so much about amazon niches and affiliate schemes. Lots of information but nothing as clear as this, really inspired me to get stuck in. Domain name purchased after some keyword research. Next stop some content. Your website saved to my favourites for future reference, I’ll be back once I got some content and looking to take my site to the next stage. Again thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Thanks Owain

Reply
Jaswinder - May 4, 2016

Very interesting and knowledgeable post.

I couldn’t read all, hope for I will come back to read it again. I am just beginner blogger, who started her Niche site seven months ago.

I am making around $100 monthly from this month or even more. It is just beginning, hopes are more.

Thanks.

Reply
Pamela - May 9, 2016

Your site is awesome! You are definitely right about Amazon. They will forget about your site once they get to Amazon. Amazon is amazing at building trust and they will always have that. Best place to start in affiliate marketing.

Reply
Dweepayan Das - May 18, 2016

Hi Mike,

Great read! I am inquisitive if you’ve got any tips about keeping all the domains and sites organized. Do you have a spreadsheet? Thanks!

Reply
Hanuman Chalisa - May 29, 2016

Hi,

Thanks a lot for sharing this awesome post with us. Selecting a perfect and profitable niche is very essential to get the success.

Very nice post.

Good Work!

Reply
sex - June 12, 2016

Рretty! This was an extremely wondеrful article.
Many thanks fоr providing this information.

Reply
AArti - July 11, 2016

wow. just wow , that was a huge interesting and awesome guide you have here !!!

Reply
Avinash Kumar - July 19, 2016

Woww this is awesome guide for starting Amazon affiliate niche and make handsome profit.

Thanks for sharing such a fabulous tips, tricks and guidance.

I have one queries kindly answer it.

I would like to host my blog on blogger because initially i am not able to invest money.

I would like to stick with .com and blogger, it will work or not ?

I am waiting for your reply

Thanks a millions for this post.

Reply
Jamie Hill - July 22, 2016

Great tips, I have been following your advice and finally started to work on my own website – I am wordpress newbie – and it is now finally starting to take shape. I have learnt that it is a marathon not a sprint when it comes to a niche website.

Reply
Jenny N - August 2, 2016

Hi

Thanks for sharing this good article, I am thinking of starting a niche blog and your article gave me fruitful info so that I can straight away proceed. Thanks for sharing the essential tools too

Reply
Hale Michaels - September 12, 2016

Hey Mike. Definitely looks like this site has been around for awhile since the top-end posts are older.

Lol, I was a little surprised I read through the entire thing at 6k words, but it was definitely engaging. Thank you!

Just wanted to let you know that I will be taking a big portion of your process and documenting my progress.

I’ll keep you informed on how its going, and thanks for all the info.

Cheers~

Reply
Brett @ Niche Laboratory - July 13, 2017

Nice post.

If you’re putting on Amazon affiliate offers do you only use the US site? Are you leaving money on the table by not monetizing traffic from other countries?

Reply
Jake - July 25, 2017

It’s not that easy anymore, seo changed quite allot, Google alghorithm is not that dumb anymore, more and more people want building niche sites. If you could earn money in half year, the time now doubled or even tripled for the amount of work you need to do.

Simply if you’ve got great idea (something new or you are better at it – somehow you need to know the things what you are doing, writing about)

Yes it’s still possible do to withouth knowledge, but it’s really up to you. Yes headline is really great 32.000 $ wow it sounds amazing Mike Bradford, start new niche let me see your “mad” skills you’ve got.

Oh you are now teaching people how to create niche sites, of course it’s easier to teach instead of creating one.

Reply
Amma - August 18, 2017

Thanks for all the best suggestion; plenty and great. Can available wp plugins that build ready made niche sites for Amazon generate good revenue and if so which Amazon site building plugins and themes works great according to your experience.

Thanks again

Regards

Reply
Apollos - August 27, 2017

Thanks for the post. I was considering setting up an Amazon niche site and this post was not only a guide but an inspiration. I just downloaded your PDF and I hope to use it as a guide.

Reply

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