UPDATED DECEMBER 2016
It's been a while since an idea for a post really struck me, and this one snuck up on me earlier today. I was thinking about a discussion several people were having in Stuart Walker's Nichehacks Facebook Group, and I realized I needed to blog about it.
(This is much before we created the Human Proof Designs FB group.)
In fact, what I'd like to talk about in today's post is something that I've constantly found myself thinking:
Until now I didn't quite know how to articulate this thought, and as is always the way when you're running a blog, a business, plus dealing with customers - you forget about it until one day...
You're sitting on a bus, the thought slaps you in the face and you think: "THAT'S what I need to tell my audience about today".
So with my face a little raw from the metaphorical slap, I'm sitting here now hoping to finally explain something that's been clear to me for a while.
Is Passion All We Really Need?
Choose a niche you're passionate about.
This is all well and good, but recently a reader mentioned something in an email to me:
If your passion doesn't make you any money, it soon stops being your passion, but if a completely random niche started making me money...I'm pretty sure it would fast become my passion!
I'm sure this is something you can all relate to.
Passion is important. It's what separates the mundane, mediocre bloggers from the ones who really want to help people. If you want to be a success with the affiliate business model, then you're going to have to niche down. And maybe niche down again after that.
It's also what helps someone demonstrate their authority. Relevancy is a huge thing in the eyes of Google and it will help you get rankings easier in your niche if you have more focus.
The Affiliate Business Model
There's a Reason Why Most People Start with Amazon Review Sites
A few months ago I changed how I build my niche sites for customers, and shifted the focus to Amazon affiliate marketing sites.
Is it because Amazon products are an easy sell? Well yes a little.
Is it because Amazon sites are easy to set up and replicate? Yes again a little.
It is because there are lots of buying keywords and opportunities for traffic to product reviews? Definitely a little too.
Is it because they are passionate about those products? Well, I'm going to guess for the most part no.
I think the main reason that most people start with Amazon sites, is because they're the easiest way to get started.
And that's really all that matters.
Nobody is born a successful niche marketer. Nobody strikes it rich with their first website. Nobody can produce sensational content right off the bat. [Tweet this]
You have to learn how to do it.
You have to get a bit of traffic here, get a few sales there, increase a few conversions here and receive a few cheques there.
The most important reason for starting out with an amazon niche site, for me at least, is because it lets you make regular deposits into your confidence bank.
What's The Confidence Bank?
Internet marketing is full of ups and downs. Even when you've been doing it a few years and had lots of successes, you'll still be hit by times where your income is in a downer, your rankings don't seem to be going anywhere, and you're generally feeling demotivated.
This is where the confidence bank really comes into play.
Every little success you have adds up, and when you find those down moments hit you, they'll get you through it.
HumanProofDesigns was a grind when I first started it. It took me close to a year to get any real traction.
Luckily, because I'd had success with my niche sites previously, I knew it could be done. I KNEW the process worked. I KNEW I just had to keep at it, and I knew that I COULD DO IT.
This is perhaps the most powerful part of success online. We all know the various processes required, but how many of us can knuckle-down and get on with it for a few months without quitting?
For those who failed, most of the time it's not because the process failed, but because they didn't have the confidence in themselves or the system. [Tweet this]
If you're able to just make a little bit of money online with an Amazon site (and it's the easiest way to do it), then you'll have the confidence to step it up, grow, and really make a living online.
When the hard times come, you'll have that confidence inside you that will keep you going. You won't even realize it's there.
The Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing with Amazon Associates
Amazon associates is just the technical term for the affiliate program. Anyways I've touched upon some of these already, but let's focus more on the pros and cons.
Pros of an Amazon site:
- Clear path to monetization
- Amazon is an easy sell
- Universal cookie makes it easy to get commissions
- Review posts are quite easy to do, and easy to get traffic and rankings for
- Plenty of buying keywords
- It's easier to "fake" being an authority
- Lots of information already exists on the products. You can review them without owning them.
- Easy to scale by adding more products or creating more sites
- Can still make a huge amount of money.
Cons of an Amazon site:
- Amazon commissions are quite low (but can add up)
- Only a 24 hour cookie (there are ways to get a 90-day one)
- Sites can appear "thin" if they're just full of reviews
- Can get repetitive
- One big authority site might be easier to "get rich" off.
- Takes time to rank and can be difficult to link build to with white-hat methods.
- One small amazon site doesn't necessarily need less work than one big authority site.
Did I miss anything? Let me know below.
I'd like to focus on a few of the above points in more details now.
Can an Amazon Site Make You Rich?
A lot of Amazon sites will only ever earn you a few hundred dollars a month. The strategy for most people is to just keep building new sites, and it can work.
However, that can get confusing. What if you wanted to start out with an Amazon site, and then grow it into something bigger? Is it possible?
The best amazon affiliate sites make thousands and thousands. If the latest listings at EmpireFlippers are anything to go by, there are still plenty of Amazon sites making huge incomes monthly:
- click to enlarge
This is just a small selection of turnkey websites for sale that are available to buy at EmpireFlippers. As you can see, some of these sites are only around a year old, and are making over $1,000 a month net revenue.
If you get started the right way, an Amazon site can make you a good income all by itself.
What About The Bigger Problem-Solving Niches?
For a lot of people, the best niche is one where you're solving a lot of problems.
Is an Amazon site on kitchen knives really solving many problems? Probably not (doesn't make it a non-viable niche though).
Stuart Walker does some really good niche reports and one of the things he focuses on is solving problems. Check out some of his reports here to see what I mean.
Well, this is great, and those niches are great too. A lot of them can also be monetized with Amazon.
I'd say that ultimately it's probably better to make a full-time living with a problem-solving niche, than with an Amazon product review niche, but I'd also say that it's harder, infinitely so, to succeed first time with one.
The people I work with, the ones I build sites for, are in a range of levels.
Some of them are complete beginners with zero experience, and others have been around affiliate marketing for years. The one thing every one of them has in common is that they have a million and one questions.
Questions that range from:
- How do I get traffic?
- How do I know if people are going to buy these products?
- Should I include negative feedback?
- When can I reach out to other bloggers?
- How do I add a link to an image?
- I forgot my password..
- Is this 5,000 backlinks fiverr gig any good?
Just a small selection there..
When you have this many questions, I think you really want your site to be as simple as possible, until things start to click for you. Don't you agree?
Want To Learn How To Build Amazon Sites?
Take my seven-video training course, and get started with affiliate marketing.
How To Build An Amazon Affiliate Website - Types Of Amazon Sites To Avoid
Whenever something gets popular, there will always be someone who comes along selling junk products to make money off the hype.
There are literally dozens of people selling Amazon autoblogs and duplicate content sites out there.
On almost a weekly basis I get a mail from somebody with an Amazon site that they'd like help with, and the first thing I do is tell them to get all the junk duplicate content off it, and get something unique up there.
There are also plenty of these sites on flippa as well, as I reviewed here.
Just because Amazon sites are great, it doesn't mean that ALL of them will be good. Avoid the junk!
Don't view an Amazon niche site as a shortcut, it still takes work to succeed.
Another point I'd like to make is that an Amazon site does still take work. You can't just throw up a few reviews and hope for the best.
You'll need to create fresh content on a fairly regular basis, you'll need to keep building your network and gaining backlinks to the site, and you'll need to keep growing.
It's a very straightforward process though.
I'm not saying an Amazon site is the one-size-fits-all answer for the affiliate business model, but it's definitely where I'd recommend you get started.
If you're completely unsure on HOW to get started, then you can either pick up one of our keyword packs, or you can have us build a site for you. There are plenty of free guides around the Internet (including this one) which will help you get started by yourself as well.
This is another plus of going with an Amazon site. Plenty of other people have already had success with it. Talk about a winning model.