Affiliate Marketing After 2 Months

This post is a little late, the 2 month mark was actually the 22nd of October. But the stats I report will be from during that time period, September 22nd – October 22nd. I got maybe 7-8 more articles published, probably half of them I wrote myself and the other half were outsourced. Same ratio for affiliate posts to informative posts.

I definitely slowed down a lot this month. The first month I had a ton of motivation and was trying to get a new article up every couple of days. I’m still highly motivated but I have another work project going on and it’s been taking up a lot of my free time. I’ve also been starting several other new niche sites.

I’ve probably accumulated and additional 15 domains on Namecheap and I now have 5 niche sites live on the internet. Most of them have somewhere between 1-7 posts. However my main site that I am reporting on here and showing the metrics for below has 28 posts. I outsourced 2 additional articles that are going to be turned in to me today. This will put me at my initial goal of 30 articles.

Along with a ton of other helpful information, I got the idea for 30 posts from the guys over at Income School. I haven’t counted exactly but I think it’s pretty close to half and half for affiliate posts and helpful, informative posts.

I’m not seeing a ton of traffic yet. If you look at the metrics from my last affiliate marketing post you can see that my traffic seems to be increasing. However the page views went down. I think that’s partially because I haven’t put a filter in place on Google Analytics to ignore my IP addresses. So my page views are still being counted. Considering it was my first month and I was doing a lot more posting, revisions of pages, and just visiting the site more in general, it makes sense.

  • Pageviews: 628
  • Affiliate Earnings (Amazon):$0.45
  • Adsense Earnings: $1.12

There are a lot more new users, I think last time I had under 200. I did a few things though to account for that though. I don’t have the figures in my head, but I did get a bit more organic traffic. However I also made a few blog comments, Facebook group comments, and even ran Google Adwords for a week. The latter was really just to get familiar with again with Adwords and any changes they have made to the platform, I haven’t used it in a while.

A couple of achievements

I signed up for Google Adsense

I don’t really have the traffic to warrant having Google Adsense on my site yet, but I knew it was something that was going to implement eventually anyway so I thought what the hell. I applied firs with my main niche site, the one with almost 30 posts. The domain is the same age as the site, just around 2 months or so. I was actually denied. Google gave a very vague and non-descriptive explanation about sticking to webmaster quality guidelines. So all you can do at that point is start Googling or comb through the site guidelines for Adsense.

I was pretty confident that my site was met all of the conditions to qualify for Google Adsense aside from one, it was too new. Looking around the web there are a bunch of crappy sites that were approved for Adsense so I knew if they could be approved then I could be. I just either had to wait a while and get approved later on or find a loophole. I chose the loophole.

The way Adsense works, you only need one of your sites approved then you can put ads on all of your other sites. So what I did was get this site approved. This domain is probably 7-8 years old maybe. It does not have much content at all but it’s decent looking design wise and the domain is aged a little. Sure enough, I was approved within 24 hours. Once I was approved, I added it to my main site and another smaller site. Since that time I’ve earned over $1, it’s barely anything and part of it is because I did some Google advertising.

I got my first affiliate sale!

Every morning when I wake up literally the first thing I do is reach for my phone and check to see if my Amazon Associate’s account to see hard work is paying off. A lot of times I will have 0 clicks, sometimes I’ll have 1 or 2. It really doesn’t surprise me if I go 4-5 days with no clicks at all. It’s a sucks and I like to see a little bit of activity but I try not to let it deter me. According to Jim and Ricky at Income School, I shouldn’t really expect much activity of any type for 6 months or longer. My mentality right now is to just not sweat that stuff too much at this stage.

However I woke up one morning and checked my Amazon account and there it was, a $9.99 sale that earned me a $.45 commission. You may say that’s nothing dude. and it’s not.. but it is a proof of concept. If I count my Google Adsense earnings of about $1.10 or so, then I’ve earned around $2.50 since I started. It’s good to know that it’s working and I am making progress. Maybe on the next post I will be able to say I’ve made $5 or so. Any progress is good.

What I did to increase traffic to my niche site

Blog commenting

I didn’t go crazy here.. probably made a total of a dozen comments across various blogs. I would pretty much search for my keywords and find articles that are related to an article I wrote. So if I wrote an article about “how to take your new puppy swimming”, I might comment on an article title “how to take your dog swimming”. I could then say “hey great article, I think your readers might also like this article I wrote!”  That way it doesn’t seem like I’m actually directly competing with them but can expand upon what they wrote.

This is only an example and may not be the best one, but you get the idea. It’s not the best idea to comment on articles that you are directly competing with, it’s not in their best interest to approve your comments. You should read their articles before commenting as well. If it’s a popular blog in your niche it’s also in your best interest to comment regularly and maybe create a relationship with the blogger. Then one day you can guest post on their blog and get a valuable backlink. Guest posting is something I’m going to look into pretty soon, I may outsource the actual articles but I haven’t decided. I think I’m a pretty decent writer but I might want to hand over something more polished and be asked to guest post again.

Facebook group comments

I signed up for 2 popular groups on Facebook in my niche. I don’t like to spam the group with articles but I don’t share one every once in a while. I always see a spike in traffic when I make a comment. I think the reason I’m not making more comments and more of an effort on social channels is because I want more organic traffic first. I want to get some natural traffic direct from google and see how people are reacting to my site. I’d like to make improvements and optimizations on these first 30 posts first before I start promoting it more.

Signed up for a couple of forums

I found 2-3 forums in my niche that weren’t completely dead and still got some activity so I signed up. Once signed up I created a profile, in your profile there is usually a place to add your website url, or to add it in your signature. In almost all forums there is a sub-forum for introducing yourself to everyone. So I went in and simply introduced myself in a few sentences. With this one comment my website url appears in my signature or at the very least my username links back to my profile which has my website url. Not really high quality backlinks but easy to do and might help a little.

Started a resources page

This is a work in progress but I created the page and have a dozen links on it or so. I tried to not link to any competing affiliate sites but just informative websites that people would find helpful related to my niche. I may have linked to a couple of bigger sites that do some affiliate posts but I will probably never outrank them anyway and they have a lot of great content. It will continue growing over the next few months. There are ways to use these pages to your advantage that I will eventually look into.

Started a Pinterest account

No big deal, just created a Pinterest account and followed a bunch of people. I made some images in Photoshop with text in them formatted for Pinterest. In fact I am going to do another one today. I created like 4 relevant boards and saved some pins to them from different people and myself. I think I’ve gotten about 15-20 followers at this point. If just one of my pins that points back to my website goes viral or becomes popular, it could really get me a lot of traffic.

Added a newsletter sign up

I signed up for a free account on Mailchimp, installed the WordPress plugin, and synced them up. I added the sign-up to the footer and just kind of left it alone. I think I currently have 4 subscribers. I sent out one hello email but probably won’t send out any more until I get some more subscribers. I created a Facebook page but it’s not published yet. Once I invest some time in the Facebook page and get it up to par I will probably run a few Facebook ads. Possibly a giveaway or something of that nature in order to get subscribers. I feel like now that I have almost reached my goal of 30 articles I can start focusing on some marketing.

Google Adwords

I reactivated my Adwords account that I haven’t used in a year and created a couple of ad units. I set a budget of $8 a day and let them go for a week. One of the ads ended up performing much better than the other one so I deactivated the other one and let all of the budget go to the one. This ad got me a good spike in traffic and even got me a click on one of my ads but resulted in no affiliate sales. The one affiliate sale I currently have came a week after the campaign had ended.  I probably will not run any more ads, at least not for the foreseeable future.

Published new content

As I mentioned above, I think I got about 7 or 8 new posts published. I outsourced most of them probably as I’ve just been spread too thin with other things. I’ve gotten accustomed to hiring out on Upwork and have found 3 writers I like. I found another blogger from a Facebook group who has been great for writing the informative content that is specific to my niche. I didn’t quite publish as much content as quickly as I wanted but I’m more or less at 30 posts and that was the goal. Now I can focus on marketing, SEO, and getting other sites some traction.

Other sites

In total I have created 7 niche sites, I let 2 of them die though. One had just one post and I knew quickly it wasn’t for me. It was in the tech niche and the content was not evergreen. Evergreen content refers to stuff that won’t change year to year. If your site is about iPhones, each time a new iPhone comes out your reviews on the previous models become less and less relevant. Going forward I’m keeping that notion in mind.

I did keyword research on all of my other sites and made sure I am at least mildly interest in the topic. I think I can build them up to that 30 post minimum and build from there if I choose to. Two of them have the potential to become authority sites. Authority sites are a little less focused and can cover a broader range of topics.

What my goals are at this point for internet marketing in general

Monetarily, I keep bouncing around on this one. If I can generate $500/month between all of the sites and all income streams after a year, then I’ll consider the venture a big success. Even if I don’t reach that goal but have seen consistent progress, I will keep going. I’ll even bring that $500 goal down a little and say that if I can use niche sites to pay my truck payment after a year that will also be a big success.

Eventually I would like to be able to pay my mortgage from the income I create, and not to get too far ahead of myself, but go full time. The advantage I have here is that the learning curve for me wasn’t too bad. I already made websites for a living and know about SEO, I just had to learn the nuances of affiliate marketing. I feel like I have learned a ton and am learning more still. I look at the competitors and see what they are doing and try to implement some of their strategies into my sites.

I guess that’s all for now but the next time I update will be 3 months in and the beginning of the holiday buying season. I should have a little more traffic by then. The update after that one is the one I’m expecting to see some good progress on. I have several good affiliate posts targeted at keywords that do not have a lot of good results and decent search volume. I think they’ll start performing decently after Black Friday. We shall see!