Following the success of some previous methods I have written, I decided to spend some time putting a new one together that has a higher chance of success. There are no “tricks” in this guide and no silver bullets. This is for people serious about making money who are fed up trying “methods” that work for a week and then stop. You will not make a million dollars overnight, but it is certainly possible if you’re willing to work hard. The guide also helps you build up a small website business with REAL value that can eventually be sold.
Why trust me?
– I’ve been full-time online for nearly 6 years
– My company generated over $1m in revenue for the last 2 years
– I have been contributing to the BHW community for years. I have no ebooks to sell
Yeah, yeah! You run a business, no-one works for free!
Okay you are right! My company helps people sell successful websites making over $1000 a month so I WANT you all to succeed and make nothing until you do!
This method is ideally suited to people who have not started making consistent money online (or want to add a new revenue stream) and would be happy reaching $1000/month within 6 months (with 1 site). It is possible to scale this method and make more but the initial guide is aimed at those getting started without much to invest. We’ll be using the Amazon.com affiliate program.
– You have at least $100 to start
– You are willing to work at least 20 hours to start (not all at once) and then 3 hours per week
– You have the ability to write content (or buy it)
I will be writing more advanced guides for those with more cash to invest upfront ($1000+) but this is a great way to get started and can easily be scaled once you’ve got something making money consistently. Followed correctly, you should make around $30,000 in the first year (assuming you decide to sell the site).
Before releasing this method, to prove anyone can do it, I have been working with a friend on this to ensure the instructions were easy to follow. He had:
– No cash beyond the initial $100 to start
– Never made $1 online
– Never made a website before
– A full-time job
– A few hours per week spare
His site launched in December and his earnings since (following this method and no cheating by doing extra work – he really is very lazy!):
The aim of this guide is as follows:
– Teach you how to choose a niche
– Teach you how to create your first website
– Teach you how to research keywords and write the initial content
– Teach you best practises for setting up the website
– Teach you to drive traffic to the website
– Teach you to get to $1000/month within 6 months
– Teach you how asset value works so you can eventually sell the website after 12 months for $XX,XXX.
It is important to follow the steps in order – don’t just jump ahead if you’re feeling lazy or it will not work.
Phase 1 – Choosing a Niche
To keep things simple, this guide does not focus on SEO or keyword research which are whole skills in themselves. For beginners, I do not believe it is necessary to do this to start making initial sales and it keeps costs down as you don’t need to buy fancy keyword research tools. If you do have experience with keyword research, feel free to apply this here. Most people waste months trying to find a niche – my advice is just to get started. The person who started 6 months ago will always beat the guy who has just found the “perfect” niche.
Here’s what to look for in a niche:
– Something evergreen and not seasonal. Not a product that will be going out of fashion any time soon. If you are not sure, use Google Trends – ideally the niche you choose will have a stable/steadily growing line and consistent all year.
– Products in the $50-1000 range on Amazon. Ideally your niche will have products at various price levels so you can target various visitor demographics. Don’t just choose expensive products and don’t just choose cheap products or you will struggle to make the money I discussed at the beginning of this method.
– Don’t pick a niche that is categorised as “electronics” on Amazon. Check out this page to ensure the products you choose are not in a fixed fee structure below 8%. The vast majority of products/niches on Amazon will be subject to the “General Products” commission tiers (table 2 on that page) – they are the ones you want.
– Something you are interested in. When starting out, it helps if you are interested in the niche – this will help with content and promoting the site. Don’t just pick a niche you know nothing about when you don’t have cash for outsourcing.
– Pick a niche that is big enough to have at least 20 products with more than 50 reviews. If in doubt, just find something from the best sellers section: http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers/zgbs
– Pick a relevant domain name (do not register it yet). Again, don’t spend too long on this. Just pick something that is available, simple and ideally a .com/.org/.net. You can even pick something quite brandable for your niche.
– Pick a reasonably broad category. We are not building a micro-niche site so no need to worry about finding something with zero competition.
Example niche (I have not tested this niche, nor should you use it):
Consistent in Google Trends:
Products in the $50-1000 range on Amazon. Many have more than 50 reviews:
I like to sleep, so this would be a good niche to start with. SEO gurus might say “oh but this niche is too competitive” – but that doesn’t matter. We’re not trying to rank #1 for every keyword in the industry and it is not required to make $1000 a month. We just need to sell a few mattresses a day to hit our target!
Domain wise, most people will hear you need an exact match domain and just look for “bestmattressreviewsin2016.com” or something boring like that. I would go with something less spammy looking and that feels more personal and authoritative. I can see “sleepwellexpert.com” is free – so that could be an option. Again, don’t waste too much time on this! Time is money.
Once you have chosen your niche, move onto Phase 2!
Phase 2 – Building Your Website
Unfortunately, I am not the most technical person in the world so I asked a friend of mine to write up a detailed guide instead and sort a good deal on hosting for everyone.
To test the guide initially, I sent it to my other friend (who I helped with this method) and ensured he could follow it properly. It took him less than 20 minutes (remember he is a newbie and never built a website before!) to have a basic website up and running.
My friend also negotiated an AWESOME deal with SiteGround to get a massive 60% discount on their shared hosting packages and a FREE domain name! If you already have hosting they are still worth checking out – especially if you’re having issues with your current host as they offer free site migrations for new customers.
He does get a small commission from every sale but he was very helpful putting together a huge guide & video for you all as a favour to me. If everyone had followed my method for building a website this method wouldn’t be very good!
To complete phase 2 you need to:
– Register your domain name you identified in Phase 1 above.
– Buy your web hosting
– Install WordPress (do not worry about choosing a theme at this stage!)
– That’s it!
Do not use free hosting at this stage and with the deal my friend negotiated you do not need to settle for a .info domain like many do as they are cheap.
By the end of Phase 2, you should not have spent much more than $100 unless you decided to go for a more powerful hosting package or pay a few years in advance to get a better deal.
Once you’ve done all that you’re ready for Phase 3. Congratulations!
Phase 3 – Keyword Research and Content
By this stage, you should have chosen a niche and setup a website following the instructions in Phase 2. If you’ve not done this, go back to Phase 1 and 2.
The first thing to do is some basic keyword research for the niche you have chosen. For the purposes of this method, we are not worried about competition, although if you do have more advanced keyword research knowledge, feel free to look for lower hanging fruit.
By this stage you will have niche with hopefully some different types of products and brands within.
Setup a spreadsheet using Excel or Google Sheets to keep track of ideas.
“Brand name” – is a brand in your niche.
“Product type” – is a different type of product in your niche.
Here are some keyword ideas you can work with:
Best [product type] [niche]
Best [product type] for [relevant task]
In the mattress niche I used earlier, this could mean I have (look at best sellers in your category):
Best memory foam mattress
Best mattress for back pain
And so on. I use SEMrush to come up with keyword ideas:
At this stage, find 5-10 main keywords to target. It’s easiest to go with the keywords with highest searches first, but if you’re good at keyword research you might want to look at competition, too.
On my friend’s site, the keyword with the most searches was the focus of the site (homepage). The other keywords will be used to make extra pages.
At this stage, you need to either write the content yourself or outsource it (plenty of options in the BHW BST section).
Here’s what you will need:
1x 2000-5000 word article on the “main keyword” (usually most searches). This should be a “buyer’s guide” or similar about the niche. Keep it informative with everything they need to know about the niche. For example, for the mattress buyer’s guide:
How to Choose a Mattress
Posture/Back Pain Considerations
Mattress Toppers and Protectors
This article should mainly be informative but should include a few products throughout, including one (I use the best seller on Amazon) for this that will be recommended above the fold. With mattresses, the best seller is here – this can always be changed later so don’t worry too much at this stage.
4-9x 1000-2000 word “best” articles.
These articles should follow a simple layout:
200-500 words introduction
200-500 words about 3-8 products in that category
200-500 words conclusion & final recommendation
Using the example of “best memory foam mattress” would write an introduction about memory foam mattresses, recommend 3-8 different mattresses with a description on each (make sure these are sold on Amazon, if in doubt, filter by best-sellers) and then a recommendation at the end.
At minimum, you’ll end up with 6000 words with 23,000 on the high end. For beginners, starting with 6000-10,000 is fine.
Keep the articles saved in Word/Google Docs and then move to Phase 4.
Phase 4 – Website and Persona Setup
By this stage, you should have chosen a niche, bought your hosting/domain and have the initial round of content written.
There are lots of different strategies for setting up a site at this stage but to keep things simple I will focus on one. If you’re a more advanced reader, feel free to tweak as you want. This is the method my friend has been using and I have brokered the sale of millions of dollars in value of Amazon affiliate sites following something similar.
The main principles of setting up the site are:
– The site should look like a blog setup by an individual or couple (not commercial)
– The site does not have to have an award winning design. Simple is great
– The site should be “run” in a personal way
– The content does not all have to be something you can make money on. On my friend’s site, he’s written various random posts about the topic that don’t have ads/affiliate links in
The first step is to create a person (or people) who run the blog. Ideally it should be amateur but still an authority. For example, if your chosen niche is mattresses, you could choose someone who talks about having back pain. Use a stock photo (that looks like a real person!) and write up a bio. You *can* use yourself as the expert/blogger but this would make it much harder to sell the site so I would not recommend this, even if you know about the subject you’ve written about.
At this stage you should also create an email account (I would use a gmail account – [firstname.lastname@example.org or similar is fine. If you have time, also create a Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest account for your “blogger”. The more time you spend making the accounts look legitimate, the better.
The second step is to get the blog setup. By this stage you should already have installed WordPress. Next step is choosing a template. You do not need to choose a premium template! I like simple templates that seem like they would be used by a random person setting up a blog – and these convert really well for me. If you went with SiteGround any of their free themes would be fine:
https://www.siteground.com/wordpress…ess-themes.htm or from https://wordpress.org/themes/ – just make sure it fits the style of your persona and is clean and simple.
Once you’ve installed the WP theme you’ve chosen create the following pages:
– About us/me (this should have your blogger’s bio and picture)
– Contact me/us (contact form to your gmail account)
– Disclaimer page stating you are an Amazon affiliate (here’s a useful article on this)
There are a number of plugins you can use, depending how you want to set your site up (don’t always copy everyone else, you want your site to look unique!) but I would suggest:
– Yoast SEO
– WP External Links
– Pretty Link Lite
– Google Analytics
– 404 to 301
– WP Super Cache
– All In One WP Security
Once you have done this, you’re ready to add your articles! Your chosen theme might require some tweaking at this stage but don’t worry about exactly copying the layout I suggest – as long as you don’t completely change the approach.
Your homepage should have your “pillar” article. I don’t show any other articles on the homepage at all. If you prefer your homepage to be a navigation (newspaper style) this is up to you and you can put the pillar article somewhere else.
Once you’ve got the pillar article set as the homepage (you may need to Google how to do this depending on the theme you’ve used) use the Yoast SEO plugin to optimise it for your chosen “best” keyword. Yoast is not perfect but it easy to follow. You should aim to get an overall “green” result – but don’t worry about getting green with every section.
Your main keyword (the one with the most searches, or least competition if you have done more advanced keyword research) should also be the title of your site. So in Google it will look like [site name] – [best keyword].
Your homepage should look something like the below (please excuse the MS Paint skills!)
Once you have the pillar setup, it’s time to add the other blog posts. If you’ve followed the rest of the guide properly you should have 4-9 at this stage. You can either put them in a category or just have them as sitename.com/[post-name].
When adding a title/URL for the blog post, I like to go with something personal sounding. “What is the best mattress for back pain? I found it!” is better than “best mattress for back pain”.
Your article should start with an introduction, then have mini reviews/descriptions of 3-8 products and then a conclusion. At the end of the first paragraph, link out to Amazon (use Pretty Links or a raw Amazon affiliate link) and say something like “spoiler alert – check out the best mattress here”. This is for lazy people who don’t want to read the whole article and will increase your CTR.
When you’re describing products further down, try to use an image each time and link out to Amazon at least once per product. Do not mention the price as this is against Amazon TOS. At the end of the article you should also link out to your favourite product in that category and WHY! Don’t just end the article without telling people what to buy. A list of “top 10 mattresses” will not convert as well as an article where Brian (with back pain) has written about various mattresses and spoken about the one he found best from his own experience! Once you’re done, make sure to get it green with Yoast, too! Whilst we’re not expecting any organic traffic early on, it helps to have it well optimised from day one.
Once you have all the posts written, link out from the pillar article to each page using the target keyword as anchor text. So if your pillar is “The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Best Mattress” and you have a sub-article on “best mattress for back pain” you would link out to that post.
If you’ve written any other posts – now is a good time to add them. On my friend’s site, he wrote a “welcome to my blog” post with an introduction from his “blogger” – makes it sound personal and looks like a real site to the average visitor/Amazon/competitors rather than a site built purely for the purposes of making money.
Congratulations, you’ve just finished Phase 4! At this stage you should have a functional website, content, a “blogger” persona and all the initial plugins installed. Make sure you have Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools configured at this stage. Do not worry about making the site perfect – it can be improved with time. It’s much better to get it launched and start driving traffic than worrying about how to improve conversions on a site that gets no traffic!