How to Sell an Amazon Affiliate Site for $35,000 – A Case Study & Success Story

josh-shogrenThis is a really cool success story from someone that I’ve featured before, Josh Shogren. He’s a 20 year old college student and he’s doing really well with niche sites!

Last time we heard from Josh, he made $16,843 in One Year with One Niche Site.

Josh tells us a lot about how he did it, and it’s stuff you can do too. There’s no secret to it…

The site that’s featured today is a different one than last time.

Josh goes into details around:

  • The long process of building UP the monthly revenue.
  • How he broke out of the $300 – $400 per month revenue. (It’s similar to the KGR method from Five Figure Niche Site.)
  • The 25 x monthly multiple that value his site at $39,461.
  • Why he LOVES Private Blog Networks.
  • Why he won’t use PBNs for all his sites.
  • The TOP 3 things that a newbie should focus on to prioritized.
  • The thing that people think is critical that Josh doesn’t think is very important.

Learn how to create an Amazon Affiliate Niche Site like Josh. I have a premium training that you can check out called Five Figure Niche Site. Enrollment may be closed when you read this but you can sign up for the waitlist.

What site or sites do you want to share today? Is it the same one from your original success story? You can reveal the site if you want, or not…totally up to you.

The site I will be talking about today is different than the one that I talked about in my original success story.

Even though they aren’t the same site, they have a lot of similarities in terms of how I was able to grow the site and the overall strategy I used.

Both websites are also in relatively similar niches, which just happens to be a coincidence.

Just like in my original success story, I will not be sharing the exact URL of the site out of respect for the new owner who purchased the site from me. I don’t want anything bad to happen to the site by making it public.

Hope that makes sense!

How much are you making from the website right? Or, how much did you sell it for?

I recently ended up selling the site for $35,000 through Empire Flippers and the site was routinely pulling in $1,000+ per month near the end. (Editors note: I sold a site through Empire Flippers and you can read about it here: Case Study: Build and Sell a Website for $10K in Only 8 Months.)

The best month I had with the site was in January when it made over $2,600.

That is an extremely good month for my website but, you have to understand that kind of success does not happen overnight.

…You have to understand that kind of success does not happen overnight.

I started this website from scratch over 19 months ago and it took around 14 months before the site was able to start making a decent amount of money. Check out the growth the site has seen in terms of earnings since the site was created 18 months ago:


The site was earning around $300-$400 per month for a very long time but, I was patient and gave the site time to grow. Around 5 months ago, in October, the site started to really gain traction and make more than the usual couple hundred dollars per month. It peaked during January at over $2,600 and saw a bit of a decline in February but still ended up making around $1,000 during that time.

I want to briefly explain my thoughts behind my decision to sell the site, how my site was valued by Empire Flippers, and some of the details behind selling my site.

First off, you are probably wondering why in the heck I would sell a site that was seeing this type of growth month over month and making $2,600 per month? Good question!

One of the biggest reasons for my deciding to sell the site was due to a new sales nexus law that was put in place for Washington State residents. This new law actually made it illegal for the affiliate site I was using to monetize my site to pay me out the money I had earned.

I am not going to go into why this happened but, just know that I had to end up “partnering” with my grandma who lives in Ohio so that I was able to keep making money from the site and get paid my earnings. This happened around the middle of October and I didn’t want to deal with this problem anymore. That was a major reason for my choosing to sale the site now.

There were a couple other reasons for the sale such as wanting to cash out one of my assets so I could invest into other business ventures, wanting to start a new site and the timing was perfect for myself.

The 3 month average was $1,578 and at a multiple of 25x the value of the site came out to be $39,461

As for how Empire Flippers valued my website, they took the last 3 months average for the website and used a 25x multiple.

Since I listed the site at the very beginning of February they used the months of November, December and January in the valuation.

The 3 month average in profit during those months was $1,578 and at a multiple of 25x the value of the site came out to be $39,461.

You can check out the email I received from Empire Flippers revealing the sale price:


I was so pumped when I saw this! Mainly because I was expecting them to use a 6 month average and a 20x multiple, which would have valued my site much lower.

Luckily, they knew what they were doing and valued the site much higher, which was a good choice because I had a buyer within 2 weeks.

As you can probably tell, the site was listed for close to $40,000 but I ended up accepting an offer of $35,000 for the site.

Even though I would have enjoyed to get $40,000 for the site I was still very happy with the $35,000 that it sold for!

If it was the same site from last time, what did you do to grow the site?

Like I mentioned before, this is a different site from last time but I used a lot of the same strategies and tactics to grow this site as I did on my last one. So I would be happy to share some of the things that I have found to be successful for building and growing websites.

My main strategy for growing niche sites is keyword research. This is the backbone for any successful website.

If you do awesome keyword research then you will be able to find success much quicker.

When I am talking about keyword research I am NOT talking about finding keywords that get 1,000 or 5,000 or 10,000 monthly searches, nope, I am talking about the keywords that get 50 monthly searches.

I LOVE to write content that targets these keywords that get 50, 70, or 90 monthly searches but are extremely easy to rank for. These are the long tail keywords that will drive targeted traffic to your site and won’t take years to rank in Google.

One of my favorite things to do is find 3-5 related and similar keywords that get anywhere from 30 – 150 monthly searches (more is fine) and target all of these keywords with one highly optimized piece of content. (Editor’s note: I like this too! Check out the Keyword Golden Ratio to learn how I do it.)

Doing this will allow you to rank very easily for those keywords without much help needed from any sort of backlinks.

I recently created a little “how to” guide with a video that explains my most effective tactic for finding these long tail keywords for you to target. You can check out that guide here.

Just to give you some proof of how effective this strategy has been for my myself, check out the screenshots below of my site’s stats from Semrush. (Want a FREE 14 Days SEMrush Pro trial?)


According to Semrush, these keywords you see above are the ones that are driving the most traffic to my site. I want to point out that not ONE keyword has over 1,000 monthly searches!

Targeting 5 of these keywords with one article is not a waste of time at all

The keyword with 590 monthly searches is driving the most traffic to my site. Also, take note of the keywords that have 70 and 90 monthly searches, they are driving a very good chunk of traffic.

Most people would skip right over these keywords when doing keyword research because they would think that it isn’t worth their time to target.

And they may be right, targeting one keyword that gets 70 monthly searches very well may be a waste of time but, targeting 5 of these keywords with one article is not a waste of time at all.

Another really awesome thing about targeting these type of keywords is that it will be relatively easy for you to take the top spot in Google. There is a good chance that you will be able to create the most optimized and highest quality of article for those keywords.

Finding and targeting these types of longtail keywords is the number one reason for the success of this niche site as well as all of my other sites. This, along with PBN links is the combination I have had the most success with.

Some people love PBNs, others hate them. Where do you stand on PBNs?

I love them.

I have been using them for over 2 years now and I have not been penalized once by Google. The main reason for that is because I own and build out my own Private Blog Network which I have full control over. This allows me to make sure everything is top notch and as safe as possible.

private-blog-network-PBNs-niche-site-projectPeople begin to get into trouble with PBN’s when they buy links from other people who have no idea what they are doing and just want to take your money. If you are going to buy PBN links from someone make sure that they are knowledgeable and will keep your site safe.

(Editor’s note: Check out the updates on WHERE to find GREAT domains on my PBN page.)

Using PBN links to rank sites is still one of the best and most effective ways to rank a website. With that being said, I understand that they will not be effective forever and that it is smart to diversify my link building strategies.

OR just not build any links at all and just write very good content and let your site rank naturally, which I think is a very underrated strategy when it comes to niche sites.

I have recently gotten into website investing where I manage websites for outside investors and use the websites themselves as investment vehicles. I will NOT be using any sort of PBN links on these type of websites mainly because I want to limit the risk of the site as much as possible since I am using other people’s money for the website.

As I get more into website investing, I will slowly start to move away from PBN links and opt for more natural and safe strategies.

(Editor’s note: Guest Posting is a great White Hat Method. Read about how to get 6 Guest Posts in 6 Weeks for a BRAND NEW Site with a 15.8% Success Rate.)

However, for my own websites I will continue to use PBN links because they work very well and I am willing to take the risk.

Did you use PBNs on your site?

Yes, I did use PBN links on this site.

How are you doing link building now? What’s the best use of your time for link building?

My main source of backlinks are PBN links.

Plain and simple.

I have actually done a very, very small amount of link building outside of PBN links in the past.

I am looking at testing some other link building strategies that are more “white hat” (I hate that term) that I can use on future sites.

But to answer the question, I am using PBN links for my sites right now and I have found them to be the best use of my time as well.

What are the top 3 things that a newbie should focus on to prioritized?

  1. Choosing the correct niche to enter
  2. Keyword research
  3. Long term success

These are the top 3 things I would suggest a beginner to focus on when starting out. I will give a little more detail behind each answer below.

Choosing the correct niche to enter

It is an important decision and I think many people go about it the wrong way.

When you decide on the niche that you will create a website around you are choosing the path that you will take for the site’s entire lifetime. It is an important decision and I think many people go about it the wrong way. The number one thing that I hate to see are people creating a WHOLE website around one keyword.

This is crazy to me.

Just because you found one keyword that you think you can rank for, you should not create a whole site around it. This will limit the potential your site has to earn as well as limit the scope of content you can produce.

You should always try to create a site around a NICHE, not a keyword. For example, let’s say I was doing keyword research and I came across a really nice keyword such as “best hiking boots” that I wanted to target with a new website.

Awesome, this is a good start and I could create a piece of content that would target this keyword and any other related keywords revolving around hiking boot reviews.

However, instead of creating a whole website dedicated to hiking boots, I should think a lot bigger. So what I would do after finding this first good keyword is try to find other keywords within the same niche that I could target as well.

I would start trying to find keywords related to the hiking niche and see if I would be able to rank for other keywords within the same niche.

If I am able to find other good keywords such as “best hiking water bottle”, “What are the best hiking sticks?” and “Hiking backpack reviews” then I would know that I could target these keywords along with my first keyword I found.

Now, instead of creating a whole website around hiking boots I would now be creating a whole website around hiking in general and doing gear reviews.

This allows me to target a much wider array of content which in turn will result in more traffic, earnings and potential the site has.

There are endless amounts of keywords and topics that I could now write about that would fall into the hiking niche. Do you see where I am going with this?

People think way too small and end up hurting themselves down the road.

Keyword Research

Everything revolves around keyword research when it comes to building niche websites.

This ties into the first part about choosing the correct niche.

Doing solid keyword research will be the backbone for any website.

You will use keyword research to find the niche you will create a website in, what keywords you will target and the type of content you will produce.

Everything revolves around keyword research when it comes to building niche websites.

Learn and master how to do this and it will give you the best return on your investment possible.

I have already shared my favorite way to find long tail keywords and there are a million other guides out there that will help you learn.

Long Term Success

If people are on your site for only 30 seconds and then leave, Google will take notice of this and not rank your site.

Think of the website you are building as an asset that will provide you a passive income for the next 5 years. Don’t take shortcuts and try to cheat the system, it will only hurt you in the end.

What I mean by this is don’t risk long term success for temporary short term success.

This means producing ACTUAL useful content that people will want to read and not just another article that is trying to rank in Google.

Create content that people will share with their friend and other websites will link to.

If people are on your site for only 30 seconds and then leave, Google will take notice of this and not rank your site. Google knows when content is actually useful for people and will reward the websites that have this type of content.

The best way to create this type of high quality content, even in the niches you know nothing about, is to hire an expert within the niche to write the content for you.

You can go about finding this writer a ton of different ways but, the easiest route is to head over to Upwork and post a job looking for an expert within your niche and who is willing to write for your blog.

There is a very good chance you will find someone. I have done this for every single one of my websites and I think it is a major reason for my success. Check out the average time per page for my website:


The site average for time on page is 3 minutes and 35 seconds, which is extremely good for ANY website, let alone a niche website. Some of the pages have an even higher time on the page of 4+ minutes.

This is a result of hiring an expert within my niche who knows what they are talking about and having them write high quality content.

Is there anything that people seem to think is critical that you don’t think is very important?

Trying to rank for keywords with thousands of monthly searches. I touched on this before but, I really want to stress that it is not important to rank for these type of keywords.

You will find more success by going after the easy to rank keywords that get 50 monthly searches, not to mention that you will also be able to have success a lot quicker because you will rank quicker.

If there is one thing that you take away from me, let it be that you don’t need to target keywords with thousands of monthly searches to have success with niche sites.

Don’t get me wrong, ranking for these keywords is fantastic and can provide ton of traffic to your site but, it will be a long and hard road getting to that point.

Take the quicker and easier route first by targeting long tail keywords and then you can worry about the larger keywords later on.

Do you have any additional tips or advice for others that would like to replicate your success with their own websites?

I have pretty much laid out my tips and advice already within this article. However, the site that was discussed in this article which I sold for $35,000 was a site that I actually documented on my own website and I have 9 part series that covers everything from the creation of the site to the selling of the site.

So if you are interested in seeing how I was able to build this site and the steps that I took along the way then you can check out that case study here.

Aside from that, I don’t have any other tips or advice other than start doing something today! Stop waiting around for the perfect time to start your own website and online business, do it now. The sooner that you start taking action and making things happen the sooner you will see success. The perfect time to start is now.

Do you have a blog or other place that people can following along with what you are doing?

My own website, Passion into Paychecks, is a place where I document all of my different business ventures from niche sites to website investing to Amazon FBA. If you are interested in any of the above then feel free to hop on over to my site.

I have also recently taken over the blogging duties at Niche Site Azon, which is a website fully dedicated to building and growing niche websites. If you are looking for a ton of actionable tips and strategies for your own niche site then that is the place to be (aside from here at Niche Site Project 🙂 )

Once again, I want to thank Doug for the opportunity to share my story and I truly appreciate you all reading. I will be around in the comments as well answering all questions!

11 comments… add one
  • ken

    Like your post, how many articles do you have in your niche site? except PBNs, what else backlinks do you build?

    • I had about 12 posts on my niche site, so not that many! However, each one of these articles were around 2000+ words.

      As for other links, 90% of the links were PBN links and the other 10% were comments on niche relevant blogs and sites.

      Thanks for reading and for commenting

  • Great post and love the candidness.

    The fact is that PBN’s still work and as you said in the article; will always work as long as Google loves links!

    I also use them to great effect, but with a caveat…you have to diversify and use a nice a nice mix of links for diversity. Just use the strong PBN’s for the money words!

  • Thanks for allowing me to share my story again Doug! I will be in the comments answering any questions 🙂


  • irfan

    Hi Josh,

    Great advice. I am especially amazed about the time visitors spend on your site , 3 minutes and 35 seconds for a niche site ? Wonderful

    Can you please make some more recommendations how you select the writers on Upwork ? Seems like you have selected very good content writers ? Looks like this is a major factor for success


    • Thanks Irfan!

      My tip for finding a good writer on Upwork is to try and find someone that is passionate about the subject of your site. For example, this site was on the “Firearms and Ammo” niche and my job title on Upwork was something like “Looking for a Gun Expert to Write for my Blog” and then hired someone that was both knowledgeable about the subject and was a good writer. These writers are often expensive but you have to pay for quality

      Hope this helps

  • Congratulation for selling the site for $35,000, this is really an inspiration for many people.

    What you suggest if we don’t have money and time to invest in PBN, Did blog comments work to generate backlinks?

  • Larry

    Great going Josh!

    It’s nice to hear that Empire Flippers are now up to 25x avg. earnings.

    Wanted to ask you how you target multiple keywords in 1 post.

    Do you just insert all the keywords (4 of them for example) in the content? Or is there a number of times you need to repeat each of the 4 keywords, etc?


  • Brad

    Wow, Its great to hear that you sold your health and fitness niche site with a huge amount! Cheers!

  • Your job really moves me. I love this, I hope I will catch as you do.


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