The following interview is the first in several interviews that I've been having with various successful niche site and Amazon affiliates. In some cases, you can follow those featured on their own sites, but in today's case, we have an interview with Glen Thomson, who did it as a favor to me.
Glen is a friend of mine whom I first met at a Dynamite Circle conference last year. He's very experienced with Amazon sites and many other types of niche sites as well.
In this post, you can learn from that experience, and feel free to ask questions below.
1.) How Long Have You Been Working With Amazon Sites?
Maybe 2 years but only seriously in the last 6 months.
2.) How Much Do You Make Per Month On Average?
From affiliate sites, around $5000/month.
3.) Can You Give A Breakdown Of How Long That Took?
Hard to say to be honest, I’ve been working on different things at different times. I would say first 3 months, almost nothing, then at 6 months maybe $1000/month. Sites can take off quite quickly once Google gets a liking for them.
4.) How Many Sites Do You Work On?
About 10-15 at any one time. My aim is to get up to 10 sites that make a minimum of $1000/month each. If you’re just getting started – focus on one site until it makes you $1000/month.
5.) How Many Hours Do You Spend A Week Now, And How Many Initially?
20 hours/week now, probably 80+ when I first started.
6.) What's The Hardest Part Of Making A Profitable Amazon Site? What's The Hardest For Beginners?
Sticking with it until things actually start working. That, and effectively building links.
7.) What Do You Look For In Your Keywords?
Low ‘Average DA’ and ‘Average PA’ in the top 10 of the SERP and decent CPC, or a very clear path to monetization. I never chase keywords with very large monthly search volume but no solid way to monetize – I learnt that the hard way. 20,000 visitors a month is worth nothing if they’re looking for butterfly tattoo designs, trust me.
8.) When It Comes To Link Building, What Are Your Tried And Tested Methods?
PBNs, they’ve worked all along for me, they still work now, and as long as you’re calculating with how you use them, I expect them to continue to work for a long time coming. I also like to reinvest site revenue into links on strong media sites – proper contributing writer articles on sites with DA 70+ or more.
9.) What Order And Ratio (roughly) Do You Build These Links?
Usually 10-15 links each month for the first 2-3 months, then once a site is ranking I just go nuts on it.
10.) After Your Site Ranks, What Next?
Once I reach a point where I think the expense will outweigh the gains (either at no.1 for several keywords, or facing very stiff comp at the top), I just leave it and shift focus to other sites.
11.) How Many Articles Are Needed?
Ten 1500+ word articles are enough to make a ton of cash in most decent markets. Don’t write content for the sake of it. Build more links instead.
12.) Name 3-5 Tools You Couldn't Live Without
SEMRush.com (I used to think this wasn’t that important, now I use it multiple times a day), Majestic, SECockpit, the Moz toolbar, Clicky analytics.
13.) Can A Beginner Succeed With Their First Site?
Yes, for sure. They just need to keep focused; it’s super easy to get distracted when you’re 3 months in and things aren’t really happening. Just stick with it. Find a niche where someone else is clearly making money, have written, or write yourself, 10 strong, helpful, long, review articles, including a top 10 for the homepage, and then build links. Find PBN services, build your own PBN, read everything you can on link building. If you’re site isn’t ranking, build more links.
14.) Can You Give A Bonus Tip For Beginners?
Building PBNs is a monstrous task, I’m glad I have mine now, but if I were starting again I’d be on the hunt for semi-public or private PBN services instead. Take a look on Peopleperhour.com, there’s a few good providers there who are fairly under the radar.
Takeaways From The Interview
Bryon here again, and I wanted to give a quick summary and point out my key takeaways from Glen's interview.
1.) The hardest thing for beginners and veterans alike, is sticking with a site in the early months when it's not earning. This is something I've come across many times, and I know it's one of the main reasons a lot of beginners quit.
2.) While you do need some in-depth articles and reviews, it's much better to invest in link building. Glen goes as far as saying that it's not necessary to build any new articles at all aside from the first ones. Personally I would say, if you are ranking well for all your existing keywords, but there are more that you can rank for, then go ahead and add more articles. What Glen really means is, don't add content for the sake of it. Maximize what you have first.
3.) PBN's still work and always will, if you use them carefully. Of course, your site needs to be worth ranking in the first place too.
4.) It's better to invest in outsourcing PBN's initially, rather than trying to build your own. Having done this myself, I'd have to agree.
Got any questions for Glen? Leave them in the comments below and I'll have him stop by with his answers. You can also reach out to him on Twitter here, but he says he doesn't really use it much.