People love talking about how to get websites to rank in Google.
It is a fun topic – an art form not a science – and everyone has an opinion.
Some people go full-on-white-hat guest posting while others wear a gray hat and build backlinks with expired domains, free web 2.0s, press releases, and anything else they can think of.
I am going hard core on my case study as of a couple weeks ago, around late July 2015, for reasons that I will post soon. I recently posted about going after the long tail keywords for my niche site. In that post, the keyword was ranking at about 32nd and about 10 days later it is ranked 20th.
Not bad for a keyword that I didn’t initially target for my site. If you are just getting started with your Amazon Affiliate Niche Site, then check out this roadmap about the whole process. Looking for more inspiration: Here are examples of Amazon Affiliate Sites with traffic data…AND get 15,000 Keywords.
It will be critical for me to get this particular site ranking for a few search terms in the next 90 days or so. When the retail season gets rolling, the results can be shocking.
- Here are my earnings from 2013 (from my very first Amazon Affiliate Site), my best retail season.
- Mike, from NicheSiteAzon, made about $5,000 last December.
- Lewis, from Cloud Income, pulled in the highest commissions from October to January.
- Quinton, from Cubicle Houdini, made over $17,000 last December!
You can see the monetary benefit of ranking well in the retail season. We need a back linking plan to do that, and just like any good project manager I am ready to plan!
Let’s look at how I sketched this out on the whiteboard…
Internal Linking – Silos
Silos and deliberate interlinking…It requires some thought upfront and some planning. On my very first site, I just posted everything as a WordPress Post and it turned out fine. I didn’t really know what I was doing. That site still made a lot of money so implementing a silo structure isn’t absolutely necessary.
But the internal linking is necessary. In this particular case study, I have a post (or page) that I want to rank and the keyword has a large search volume. Let’s assume it’s about 10,000 exact match searches per month.
Let’s also assume there are about 5 supporting secondary keywords all of which have a post (or page) with 500 – 1,000 words of content. I would make sure that those supporting posts link to the post that is targeting the 10,000 search volume post.
Sort of like this Silo post talks about… Look for the graphic about interlinking…the one with all the arrows.
I am currently testing a similar idea, described very well by Matt at Diggity Marketing. Read more about Establishing Relevancy…
Manual comments to real blogs. We are not talking about crappy, spammy comments here.
You actually have to put in the time and read the blog post. Then, you have make an intelligent comment. You can take a couple shortcuts by replying to another person’s comment. It still has to be a good comment so that it will be approved.
It is unlikely that you can rank a site solely with blog comments, but the referring domain diversity is a great thing to have.
Here is how I like to look up blogs to comment on – I target blogs that use CommentLuv.
Looking for do-follow blog comments?
After you get a bunch of these CommentLuv comments approve, you can use this strategy. You will need to pull a backlink report from ahrefs, moz, or majestic.
Filter for do-follow links only and you should have a list of a bunch of blogs that use CommentLuv and have the links set as do-follow.
Now, go comment on those blogs…again and again.
This isn’t a fast process and most likely, your competitors are not going to take the time to do this level of commenting.
Go setup Twitter, FB, Pinterest profiles. Be sure to add a link to you website. The best practice is to actually use the accounts and share your content and other content from the niche.
I actually use the HOTH for this process. They do a better job than me, they do it faster, and for cheaper than I could do it. Here is a video about how I order a Platinum package from the HOTH.
The big benefit is that you can get your backlinks from posts that are about the right topic. Niche relevancy is a big deal these days so a free Web 2.0 blog allows you to get niche relevant backlinks.
Private Blog Networks
Private use only PBN. The emphasis is on private. The best practice is to use a PBN to link to one money site.
Sure, you can link to more but the risk increases fast. If you want to keep the money site safe, then a dedicated network is the way to go.
Outreach, networking, and content creation. This is a back to basics kind of tactic. It is something that very few niche site builders even consider.
I used to be the same way. I said that guest posting takes too long, and that no one would actually accept my guest post. Well, I have changed my tune on guest posting.
I actually wrote a few guest posts on guest posting:
- Guesting Posting for Niche and Authority Sites
- Ranking a Niche Site With Guest Posting
- I even have a Guest Posting Service that I offer…
Here are a couple primers that helped me when I started out:
- The Quicksprout Advanced Link Building Guide – There is a section on guest posting.
- Guest Posting on Steroids – Again, from Neil Patel’s Quicksprout and this one is more recent. I got a great idea from this post – be sure to provide value.
- The Definitive Guide to Guest Blogging – This is from Brian Dean at Backlinko. There are some good scripts here for email outreach.
Here is my trick with guest posting for niche sites…
- Pitch you guest post idea to bloggers that you have already connected with, say through commenting on their blog, via email, or social media.
- Suggest that they put in their own Amazon Affiliate Links.
- Write an awesome post and link out generously to the blogger’s site, authority sites, and most importantly your own site.
- People love it when you can provide high quality original or royalty free images.
Here is the exact script that I use…
I am a big fan of (site name). You may have noticed my comment on (post name) – great article too!
I’m writing to you because I’d love to contribute a guest post.
I’ve been brainstorming some topics that I think your readers would get a ton of value from:
- Idea A
- Idea B
- Idea C
I’ll make sure the piece overflows with information. You can even add your own Amazon Affiliate links within the post if you want.
Here are some other guest posts that I have done recently:
- Sample 1
- Sample 2
- Sample 3
It is no big deal if you don’t have any samples yet. I just added that part and it increased the conversion rate. Obviously, only provide the highest quality samples if you have them.
I highly recommend using a tool like Ninja Outreach to keep things organized. You can manage it all yourself using spreadsheets but trust me, a tool makes it go WAY faster. You can get a 14-day free trial with Ninja Outreach through my affiliate link.
I am getting about a 15% success rate by using that email sample above.
You have to take this stuff in stages or you will get overwhelmed fast. There are multiple stages for each one of the six ways to get links above, and some of them take a great deal of time to execute, like blog commenting.
Others require some technical prowess and will cost some money for hosting and content, like the PBN.
And, something like guest posting requires personal relationships, writing content, and the ability to believe that someone will accept your guest post after hearing “no” 20 times in a row.
My advice is this:
- Take each phase one by one.
- Finish a small, but complete piece of each phase. The piece of work should stand on its own and be useful.
- Move to another phase, and finish a small piece of that one.
- Move on…repeat…
- Refine your process over time. If something is performing really well for you, then double down on that one. Feel free to cut out a phase that is under performing.
It is important to actually work on a piece of a project for 2 reasons:
- A piece of a project is manageable to work on without getting overwhelmed. That is key for sanity.
- The piece of work can be completed and will stand on its own. The terrible thing that happens all the time is a project (or piece of a project) that is 95% complete.
Here is an example for a Private Blog Network…
- You may have grand plans to build out a PBN. (If you want to learn how to do it, check out the Ultimate PBN Course or you can learn about PBNs in general sign up for my free 10 part email course.)
- Maybe you are planning on building out 10 domains, which is a nice sized network for a niche site.
- You go out and find 10 domains.
- Then you set up the hosting. You start getting the content written and then you have issues with one of you writers.
- Next thing you know a month has passed and you only have one complete PBN domain even though you spent 40 hours on the process.
A better solution would be to work on one to two domains at a time. People will argue that batching the process will yield faster results since you can keep yourself from switching tasks.
The problem is that you aren’t running an assembly line. So, working on one or two domains at a time will allow you to finish them completely and move on. You can move on to the next couple domains or to another link building activity.
Link building is a game of incremental gains. 1% per day adds up over time.
Which ones of these strategies have you used to get links to your website? Let me know in the comments below.