Yesterday, Baber Siddiqui ran an AMA (Ask My Anything) in the Niche Affiliate Empires Facebook Group. Baber, who had no experience building websites less than a year and a half ago, just sold his very first site for over $190k – and he had some interesting tips and advice to share.
I will be summarizing the top questions and answers from this AMA and offering my own thoughts. I hope it helps and inspires you.
- What type of content did you write, and which content convert best?
- How often did you publish content?
- How many words do your articles have?
- How did you outsource your content?
I wrote “best” lists and comparison articles, but “best” articles got the most conversions. My articles were long-form, with most articles having 2,000-2,500 words. However, at the end of the day, the most important thing is to make sure the page satisfies the user intent, regardless of how long or short it is.
I published 6-8 posts per month. I could have published more, but I focused on improving the rankings of existing pages instead of continually churning out new content. Nevertheless, I published more than 250,000 words in total.
I outsourced my content to writers I found on Upwork.
More is not better when it comes to SEO. Quality is more important than quantity. Take the time to see which posts are not ranking well and optimize the content, improve titles, add more rich media, etc.
Upwork is a great place to find writers, but if you are looking for a long-term relationship, you can also try sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and ProBlogger’s job board.
- How did you get backlinks?
- Did you pay for backlinks?
- Did you use a backlink outreach agency?
I created informational content and built backlinks using the ShotGun Skyscraper Technique. I didn’t write any guest posts, but I did pay for some backlinks. However, only 5-7% of my backlinks were paid links; the rest were organic. I did all of my backlinks outreach myself.
In terms of efficiency, it’s hard to get away from paying for backlinks these days.
Outreach can be outsourced or systematized with assistants.
Real Bloggers would probably work well for a site like this.
- What are some SEO tips you can give us?
- How did you find keywords to rank?
- Did you avoid keywords that were too competitive?
Focus on internal linking, but make sure that crawl depth isn’t more than 2 or 3. I recommend placing categories in the main menu and putting all relevant articles in their category. Avoid orphan pages (pages that have no internal links).
I also used HARO (Help a Reporter Out). I wished I had done that earlier.
Generally, I targeted keywords that were driving a lot of traffic to my competitors, regardless of how competitive those keywords were. I just made sure they were relevant to my site and niche.
I wish he would have shared a bit more of his thoughts on HARO. Ahrefs has a pretty cool case study on HARO, though.
- Were you driving traffic through social media, and how much?
- Which social media channels did you use?
I only used Pinterest. However, I only got around 150 visitors a day from Pinterest. Most of my traffic came organically via informational content.
It is hard to get traffic that converts from social media sites. The real money comes from matching organic traffic with intent. I am wondering if Pinterest was really worth the trouble, even if it got him a decent amount of visitors.
It takes time to build a social media audience, and nothing trumps organic SEO traffic.
- How did you monetize the site?
- Did you use ads?
- How long did it take for the site to become profitable?
- How much money did you earn from this project altogether?
- How much work did you put into the site?
I used Amazon Associates and other affiliate networks to monetize the site. I avoided ads due to my personal preference. At the 12-month mark, I was earning around $5k/month.
In the beginning, I was putting in 10-14 hours of work into my site a day. This went on for eight months; after that, I was only putting in 5-10 hours a week. Altogether, I spent around $10k on the site and ended up making a net profit of more than $200k when I sold the site.
With SEO-based affiliate marketing, it can take months of working 12 hours a day until you see success. Never give up, even if things don’t seem to be moving at first.
Also, good points on the ads. Ads usually only get you a few cents per click, and they are distracting and clutter your site.
Great numbers, great ROI.
Looks like he sold it at the peak.