$70K in Amazon Affiliate Income from ONE Site

July-Dec-2013-Cumulative-Earnings-niche-site-project[updated Oct 2019] I’ve been consistently making a full-time income — $70,000++ — for years.

The original post was published in 2014 and covered my earnings from my first year in 2013 of affiliate marketing with Amazon Associates.

I updated this post in 2017, 2018, and now in 2019.

The punchline is that I made over $10,000 in about 6 months from my first Amazon Associate Site.

And I’ve been working online, full-time for three years. I got laid off in 2015 from my project management job and haven’t looked back.

It hasn’t been easy or fast, but it’s awesome to realize you can work on your own terms. If anyone tells you it’s easy, they’re selling you something — B.S.

I think the Amazon Associate program is the best way to get started online.

I can give a quick update on some of my recent earnings because you’re here to learn about how much you can make with this affiliate program.

Get all my Templates & Systems Here.

In 2017, one of my niche sites pulled in over $70,000.

To illustrate how fast your revenue can grow, that same site was making just $100 per month in January of 2016:

Most of the growth can be attributed to the Keyword Golden Ratio, a data driven way to find great keywords.

Get my personal KGR calculator sheet here.

What about Project Go White Hat?

I sold a site with a business partner in mid 2017 for $235,000. It’s a crazy amount of money for a pretty simple affiliate site that had about 120 posts on it.

I talk all about the details in the blog series called Project Go White Hat. Check the whole series here.

And for your reference, we not only sold the site but while we were working on it, the site was making well over five figures per month.

I started working on the site in September 2016 and we were able to grow the income a LOT— From about $10,000 per month to $14k, then to $19k, then to $32k. It was insane.

By the way, the huge earnings increase from $10,000 in September 2016 to December 2016 was due to adding a lot of KGR content and improving existing content.
Get all the content templates I used here.


Doug from Niche Site Project

Yep, I’m pleased with the outcome on this project.

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.

Get all my Templates & Systems Here.

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…)

Exceeding Expectations

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.

Report for period from July 14 - Dec 31, 2013

Report for period from July 14 – Dec 31, 2013

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 thought they would be.  I think I was trying to lower my expectations at 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. 

Update: I don’t use Long Tail Pro anymore and favor tools like Keyword Keg and Keywords Everywhere.

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.

Report for period from July 14 - Dec 31, 2013

Report for period from July 14 – Dec 31, 2013

The earnings per item give us some insight into the average cost of the items.  The niche I am in provides a wide range of price points.

Hitting the higher % tiers require that you sell more items.

Hitting the higher % tiers require that you sell more items.

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.

Report for period from July 14 - Dec 31, 2013

Report for period from July 14 – Dec 31, 2013

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.

Passive Income?

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.

Traffic Statistics from July to December 2013 for the Amazon Affiliate Site

Traffic Statistics from July to December 2013 for the Amazon Affiliate Site

 

July-Dec-2013-Cumulative-Earnings-niche-site-project

Cumulative Earnings from July to December 2013 for the Amazon Affiliate Site

 

July-Dec-2013-Cumulative-Number-Items-Shipped-niche-site-project

Cumulative Items Shipped from July to December 2013 for the Amazon Affiliate Site

Read more about Amazon Affiliate Sites

What questions do you have for me? I want to provide a thorough but not boring overview of my niche website. I know I left out some details so feel free to ask about them in the comments below.

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About the author: Doug Cunnington is the founder of Niche Site Project. He shows people how to create Affiliate Sites using project management and a proven, repeatable framework. Doug loves creating systems, using templates, and brewing beer (but usually not at the same time).

90 comments… add one
  • Marcello Ricky

    Really nice article. I liked the Critical Information About the Niche and Keywords.Thanks for shareing.

    Reply
  • ken

    hi, I like your blog very much, Congrats on your success, I hope I am not late, did you write the articles yourself, or outresource?

    Reply
  • jacika

    Really nice post, thanks for sharing

    Reply
  • steve pastore

    Hi my name is Stephen Pastore. I am a 22 year old aspiring entrepreneur. Im gunna try and be as brief as possible. So basically I just want to know what kind of money I can expect to make from an import/export business? I know this a very vague and general question that doesnt really have an answer but lets assume im an extremely hard worker thats gunna work 24/7 and things work out really well and lets assume that ill spend atleast 5-7 years on this business but more likely 8-10. Could i ever expect to make 5-10 million in a lump sum for myself after tax (not company revenue)? The other question is if the answer to that question is no, would you say that since i have very little contacts/ideas/experience and just dont know where to start, is it a good idea to consider an amazon import business as a good way to gain that valuable experience/contacts and ideas im looking for that will EVENTUALLY LEAD me to a big opportunity where I would be able to build a very big business like for example something that produces around 50 million in sales or gets acquired for 50 million etc? like basically would an amazon import business be a great teaching tool/gateway or a springboard to move on and graduate onto a much bigger opportunity? I understand i sound just like and ignorant naive money hungry kid that doesnt know his ass from his elbow but if you could help me out with these concerns id appreciate it greatly and I understand completely this is hard question to answer but anything helps. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Doug Cunnington

      Hey Steve, thanks for checking out the post. So I have no first hand info/data on this but I’ll tell you what I think.

      So basically I just want to know what kind of money I can expect to make from an import/export business?
      It’s pretty much unlimited.

      Could i ever expect to make 5-10 million in a lump sum for myself after tax (not company revenue)?

      Yes, a person could do that.

      The other question is if the answer to that question is no, would you say that since i have very little contacts/ideas/experience and just dont know where to start, is it a good idea to consider an amazon import business as a good way to gain that valuable experience/contacts and ideas im looking for that will EVENTUALLY LEAD me to a big opportunity where I would be able to build a very big business like for example something that produces around 50 million in sales or gets acquired for 50 million etc?
      I’d say you need to start somewhere else, not an amazon import business. Do you have a lot of capital to get started? Do you have much business experience? If not, you should go work for an importing business so you can learn about the business. Do that for a few years so you can learn with someone else’s money & business.

      Good luck

      Reply
  • Mauricoi

    Hello Doug,

    For a newby guy that wants to create his first niche site to make money with Amazon Affiliate program…How much time & money do you thing as average could take for a site to start getting results $$$. I understand that it takes time, effort,work and investment but having all that in place…could you give an estimate?

    Thanks

    Reply
  • Carlo

    Hi Doug,

    If you can, please give me some feedback on my site. It seems it’s stuck in the rankings.
    Thanks

    Reply
  • Phil

    Great tips for starting Amazon affiliate sites. I’m planning on deploying one this year – and will use some of the tips outlined here to build the site – and make it useful, helpful and profitable.

    Reply
  • Jakw

    Try now it’s getting so hard after my experience I needed to go off affiliate it’s still making some bucks.

    But competition is INSANE! It takes 2x more time.

    Reply
  • Imocheezy

    Hi Doug, I just started using amazon affiliate few days ago. I’ve got well over 100clicks but I’m yet to earn anything. Does it take long for my earning dashboard to be updated?

    Reply
  • Stan

    Hi Doug! Great amazon earnings and great post! Was an interesting read. I have a question. Can I use a screenshot from this post as a reference to show people that earning with amazon affiliates is real and can bring a lot of earnings? Let me know please. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Doug Cunnington

      Stan, thanks for checking it out!
      Where would you use it? I suggest just send them to this post and also my YouTube channel.

      Reply
      • Stan

        Thx for answering. I will use it on a high traffic website and I will mention that Doug Cunnington earned this amount with his website. Will mentioning your name be enough? I guess interested people will google and check your site and channel. I guess I cant link directly 🙁 What do you think?

        Reply
  • Rose

    Thanks Doug for sharing all this stuff you are everywhere on my facebook, in gmail i am trying to learn everything from your experiments.

    Reply
  • Alex

    Hello, Wow. It is so helpful all the info you provide. I am going to read all of your posts. My question:
    – Are you registered only in Amazon for US, or for span, Italy…. As well?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  • tech4knowledge

    Hey Doug – I wondered if or when you were going to reveal more details about this niche site. Thanks for putting together this post. Always good to put at ease inquiring minds.

    My only question is… do you think you can replicate this site with a totally different niche? You didn’t just “get lucky” with this niche, did you? Are you confident you can build another site with similar success now that you have done it with this one?

    Looking forward to reports on your next niche site (whenever or whatever that may be).

    Reply
    • Doug Cunnington, PMP

      Thanks! I removed your URL to keep your site private.
      I don’t have any other details on this site. You can replicate this — yes. Check out Project Go White Hat for example.

      Also, check out my student’s success stories. It’s even more important to be able to teach people versus me doing it again and again. 🙂

      Reply
  • prem kumar

    Great article

    Reply
  • James Harrison

    Hey Doug,

    Thank you for sharing this informative article. I am also doing a little Amazon affiliate on my website and the content I have written, link building activities that I have done are all quality and in good numbers. But still I am not getting enough results. Sometimes I get good clicks but no conversion.

    What can I do so that I can be better in it?

    Reply
  • Mike Bhand

    Really great achievement. This article inspire me.

    Reply
  • Brad

    Quite the impressive earnings, Doug. Amazon is a beast to work with, especially during the holidays. And many people don’t realize how easy it is to generate sales with it targeting even the smallest phrases. The commission rate isn’t awesome, but the volume isn’t hard to get if your content is great.

    Reply

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