This has been an unbelievable ride so far. The initial goal that I set was to create a website that made $300 per month on a consistent basis within 4 – 6 months. The site beat that mark after just two and a half months. After that period, the earnings have been unpredictable in a very good way. (Looking for more inspiration: Here are examples of Amazon Affiliate Sites with traffic data…AND get 15,000 Keywords.)
I made over $10,000 in 2013 from a single Amazon Affiliate web site. I purchased the domain name on July 14, 2013 and immediately started writing. (Read about how to start Amazon Affiliate Sites here.)
The first 6 weeks were very slow but things took off after that, with a peak of over $6,000 in December.
The table below shows the earnings by month from August through December. (This is not a cumulative total – that table will be shown later.)
As I mentioned, the site was started back in July so it did take some time to get started.
There were several weeks of writing content. I spent even more time building links.
You can see that the first month with any earnings was August and those sales occurred at the very end of the month. It was only $20 but it was just like everyone says – the first earnings are very important. It shows that the concept works and the meager earnings at least show that you should keep persevering.
September was a great month since it signified that I reached my goal of $300 per month earlier than expected. In addition, the earnings were much higher than I though they would be. I think I was trying to lower my expectations in the beginning of the project to keep from being disappointed. However, it is a bit difficult to estimate how profitable a niche site will be since each niche is different.
Critical Information About the Niche and Keywords
I picked a great keyword. Actually, it was my extremely supportive wife that first thought of the keyword. After some keyword research, I thought the niche was worth a try.
The primary keyword I was targeting has between 5,000 – 6,000 exact match searches per month on average. There are an additional 20 or so long tail secondary keywords that bring the aggregate total to around 11,000 – 12,000 exact match searches. I didn’t even realize how strong the long tail keywords were for this niche until much later.
Google trends reveals that my primary keyword has a steady search volume through most of the year – steady until October. In October people start searching for the primary keyword more often, and the growth continues until December. The increase is about 20 – 30%. That is significant.
At the time of the keyword research, I used the Google keyword planner for my keyword research. It does the job, even though it is slow for intensive keyword research. For the Long Tail Pro users,, I think the Keyword Competitiveness (the “KC”) number was about 32 – 34 back in July for the primary keyword. The KC is higher the last time I checked about 34 – 36. (I do use Long Tail Pro now. I highly recommend it since it’s the standard tool for keyword research. Click here for a free trial via this affiliate link.)
More Data – Items Shipped and Earnings per Item
The statistics here are very interesting. We can see that the number of items ship have a similar growth curve to the earnings. The number of items shipped is important since Amazon has different commission tiers for the number of items sold and shipped. The other cool part is the volume of products that people order after visiting my web site.
The earnings per item give us some insight about the average cost of the items. The niche I am in provides a wide range of price points. There are $10 items to $310 items that do the same job. The one thing to note is that each of the months has a different commission tier.
Google Rankings and a Few Notes on Link Building
The website started getting a little bit of long tail traffic in August. That improved in September significantly and by the last week of September the site appeared at the bottom of the first page. By early October the website was ranked in the top 3 for the primary keyword and number 1 for a couple of the long tail secondary keywords. The website was at number 1 for the primary keyword by mid October. The ranking seems to be stable at this point.
The link building was a critical step. It was time consuming. I followed the standard plan you see in several other blogs (like Niche Pursuits) with tiered linking structures. In general, you could categorize the links as social profiles, web 2.0 free blogs, and article directories. I also purchased a few fiverr gigs to point to the first tier of links, not the niche site (the money site).
If you have specific questions about link building, ask in the comments below. I will most likely write a post about link building since this topic is often very popular.
Yes. If you’re wondering if this is passive income, the answer is “yes.”
I haven’t added a new article since mid October. I have three written and ready to post but I thought it would be an interesting experiment to stop adding content. I do get about 1-2 comments per week from visitors that ask questions about products. That takes about 15 minutes per week. I have added a few links since October but only about one link every two weeks.
I will probably go ahead and publish the three other posts that are drafted in the next few weeks. In addition, I have vendors contacting me to review their products. I expect they will be happy to link to the site once I post a review.
Traffic Statistics, Cumulative Earnings, and Cumulative Items Shipped
These stats speak for themselves pretty well. There is growth, fast growth, coming from nothing back in July, 2013.