Learning from Successful People
There are a lot of lessons that can be learned from those that have come before us. I have never claimed that I’ve forged any trails with respect to Affiliate Marketing. Everything I’ve done, has been done before and most likely done much better. But the objective here is to create an online business and provide for my family in the way that I feel they deserve, so I will learn form the best and perform by best imitation. Remember, Imitation is the finest form of flattery… And I agree.
Let’s take a look at a few of my favorite Affiliate Marketing websites. You will find that I have some common aspects among these favorites and I will explain why:
They are all Amazon Affiliates – I prefer to teach using Amazon as a benchmark. Is Amazon the best Affiliate Program out there? Probably not, but it is how I learned and I believe it covers all of the necessary steps to becoming a successful Affiliate Marketer.
They are all WordPress Sites – Well, to the best of my knowledge they are all WordPress Sites. Of course WordPress is my personal choice or website platform and the one that I recommend to my students. I have a much easier time answering question about website customization when I speak the same language as my student. So I figured I would stick with a favorites list that include all WordPress sites, even though I know some of these are custom.
In March of 2018, the website GearHungry.com had fewer than 1000 visitors per month. Today in August of 2019, the site is nearing 4 million organic visitors alone. Do the math folks, in less than 18 months this site has gone from obscurity to
prosperity. Of course we are talking about another gizmo and gadget site and you all know how I fell about gadgets, but there are some clear learning opportunities with Gear Hungry that we should not overlook.
Number One – The site is fairly comprehensive when it comes to products. The site reviews everything from cars to camping equipment. The point here is that a niche should not be so narrow that it restricts the number of products you can sell. As I have mentioned, you may not want to sell stethoscopes, but medical equipment instead.
Clean and Orderly – One glance and you should notice how clean and orderly the site looks. Many newbies will focus entirely too much on making their website flashy, I truly do not believe that flashy is always the answer. Particularly when you are selling to consumers, today’s consumer is much more sophisticated than that.
Major Escalator Ride with Traffic – The meteoric ride that this site has shown with respect to traffic is simply breath taking. Every newbie should feel inspired by the possibility that this could be you.
Key Statistics for Gear Hungry (August 2019)
- Ranking Keywords: 89,989
- Organic Traffic: 3.76 million monthly clicks
- Backlinks: Close to 120,000 backlinks
- MOZ Domain Authority Score: 54
Gear Hungry can get a little “gadgety” with their website as well. And I’m not sure how I feel about that, but they do have a fair amount of sliders, picture galleries and interactive images. Just seems like this may be more things that can go wrong? Perhaps I am speaking from a newbie perspective in that we do not have a team of people to review our sites, daily, maybe they do?
Pick a Toilet
Come on, how can you not love a website called pickatoilet.com, I mean seriously. Especially when that website is a highly successful affiliate marketing website. It may even be possible that this site contradicts the notion that a niche can be too narrow, but I wouldn’t jump off that wagon just yet. Pick a Toilet, not only jeopardizes the narrow niche theory but it also dis-spells several other Niche Website (potential) myths. Lets’ look at a few of the topics that we discuss, but Pick a Toilet counters:
Tough to find Content for certain Niches – Really? How much do you think you can write about a toilet, how about pages and pages of content? Everything from types of toilets, to include, portable, composting and compact and toilet accessories or toilet buying guides.
Key Statistics for Pick a Toilet (August 2019)
- Ranking Keywords: 2042
- Organic Traffic: 322,000
- Backlinks: 1,578
- MOZ Domain Authority Score: 33
The thing I like best about pickatoilet.com is that I get the sense that they still have room to grow. I understand that they are doing well and it’s clear that they have the primary purpose covered (pun intended), but the Toilet Gadgets section could be expanded and that, for me, is just sheer brilliance. To create such a unique Affiliate Site, become successful and still have room to grow is just icing on the cake.
I’m going to wrap up the discussion of Pick a Toilet by saying, I’m a bit surprised at the lack of content. And this is another reason why I believe that there is room to grow here. The traffic and other stats show that they do consistently well and perhaps they are satisfied with the status quo. In any event the site is one of my favorites and always will be. Just saying…
If you are in the Affiliate Marketing business, you cannot ignore the success that The Wirecutter has realized. Created by a young man by the name of Brian Lam, the website reviews just about any product from A to Z. Brian gained his pedigree in Internet Marketing with a website called Gizmodo which was also a gizmo and gadget site.
According to his Wiki Page, Brian held the position of Editorial Director with Gizmodo so he like started The Wirecutter with some capital and some financial backing, if he needed it. The key factor that gives The Wirecutter my Number 3 spot is that Brian took the concept of scaling your business to the next level.
Of course, the fact that this website features gizmos and gadgets also contributes to my endorsement of the site. As many of you know, I have my own site called Business Travel Gadgets and just love toys. Anyway, The Wirecutter just defines the way every product review affiliate marketing website should look and based on it’s 30 million dollar price tag, I’m guessing the The New York Times felt the same way.
Key Statistics for The Wirecutter (August 2019)
- Ranking Keywords: 429,577
- Organic Traffic: 26.8 million monthly clicks
- Backlinks: 2.2 million
- MOZ Domain Authority Score: 81
The Wirecutter provides affiliate links to a ton of major retailers and this is another key factor that I want each of you to consider. As we review these successful sites, you will notice that they do not put “all of their eggs in one basket”. You will learn that having multiple revenue streams and multiple relationships with affiliate programs will add to your comfort level. The last thing you want is to build a full time income and have it depend on a single source or relationship.
Head Phones Addict
This Affiliate Marketing website uses a News Style WordPress called Addict (coincidentally) and is a pretty straight forward Amazon Affiliate, as best I can tell. Head Phones Addict‘s WordPress theme is likely custom, hence the name and the affiliate links are for the most part in list form. This is a method that I have often considered and I am getting closer and closer to making the move. I just think that people like to see their shopping options in chart form. Could just be me, but I believe I’m right on this one. What do you think, let me know in the comments below.
There are so many things that are impressive about this website. First, I think the niche is brilliant. So your website is about headphones, well first off headphones are a huge market right now, so tons of traffic right there. Not to mention that you can sideline into the gaming market, sports or exercise, all of which are huge markets. Additionally, the product is one that most people feel comfortable purchasing online. In comparison, I would think people would be unwilling to buy many shoes online, preferring to try them on first, but with headphones, not so much.
Key Statistics for Head Phones Addict (August 2019)
- Ranking Keywords: 6,374
- Organic Traffic: 190,000
- Backlinks: 92,644
- MOZ Domain Authority Score: 40
Interesting story, while researching this site I accidentally miss-typed, leaving the “s” out of the domain name. Come to find out, there is another site, mimicking this very successful website and selling similar products. I won’t link to the site because I believe what they are doing is wrong, but I can point out two things:
- The more successful you are, more people will try to imitate you
- There is a market for miss-spelled domain names, just for the traffic.
Anyway, once again, I feel like this site has some room to grow. One thing I noticed is they do not have a very strong social media presence, at least not on their website. And having that this is a social media friendly niche they would likely see some good traffic from that platform.
Generally I like to save the best for last and I can tell you that this is one of my favorite Affiliate Marketing website, specifically an Amazon Affiliate Marketing website. The primary reason that this website strikes my fancy is the simplicity. The website has a wonderful simplicity, yet is clean, colorful and dynamic. So how can something be simple yet dynamic, well look for yourself: ShaverGuru.com.
Important Safety Note: With all the accolades I plan to pile onto ShaverGuru, I cannot ignore the one glaring miscue. It appears that ShaverGuru has yet to move to a secure socket layer or SSL. And this begs the question of how they can get so much love from Google with out an SSL Certificate?? One of the basic fundamentals of getting started is obtain and SSL Certificate. But short of that I have been hard pressed to find anything I do not like about the site.
With that said, they do post prices and for me that is a bit of a risk. While Amazon does not prohibit you from posting prices, they do take offense when any price posted on your website is wrong. So if you were to choose to post prices, it would be your responsibility to ensure they are correct. UPDATE: After review the site to check for price accuracy, I noticed that they only seem to poet prices for items that are “on sale” or have special pricing in some way. So this makes sense in that they do not need to review the prices of all the shavers they review every single day, which would be an impossible task.
Key Statistics for Head Phones Addict (August 2019)
- Ranking Keywords: 1,734
- Organic Traffic: 32,900
- Backlinks: 2,092
- MOZ Domain Authority Score: 40
Another “innovation” that ShaverGuru offers (and I only say innovation, because I have never seen it before) is the price history chart. I’m not sure how that would figure into a purchaser’s decision making process, but it is a neat feature non the less. Anyway, as mentioned the site is very simple in nature and this helps greatly when it’s time to add new products. One key learning that we will take from this site is “keep it simple”. Particularly at first, the more complicated you make your site, the longer it will take to update it and the more headaches you will have on a daily basis.
The websites in our “Honorable Mentions” section are no slouches, for sure. They found their way here because they do not meet the two criteria listed above, either they are not Amazon Affiliates or they are not host using WordPress. They by no means are any less successful or less worthy of the sites listed above, but if I am going to guide you to success, I am going to show you what worked for me, enough said.
Making Sense of Sense – https://makingsenseofcents.com
This is Why I’m Broke – https://thisiswhyimbroke.com