CONCLUSION: How to Sell an Amazon Affiliate Niche Site for $235,000 pt2 – Affiliate Site Case Study

This video is about a niche site that I sold
for $235,000 in 2017. And this is part 2 so be sure to check out
part 1 if you haven’t seen it. I’m Doug Cunnington, from Niche Site Project,
I talk about Amazon niche sites, productivity, and project mgmt I was brought in to help this website improve
its traffic and profits so we could sell it for $500,000 (text appears) I told you all in part 1 that with my background
in project management and internet marketing, I created a plan for us, called Project Go
White Hat (text appears, ding). We had 3 basic steps for this plan:
(“1. Guest Writers” appears; ding) Replace all
of the Personal Blog Network links with “guest writer” links. (“2. Improve content” appears; ding) Improve
the existing content (“3. Keyword Golden Ratio” appears; ding) Add
more content that is Keyword Golden Ratio Compliant For more details on that, check out Episode
1. But for now, I want to tell you what happened
next, because of course, we hit our first big bump: We had serious Negative SEO problems. Negative SEO (Text appears) is essentially
when competitors are creating backlinks to your niche site that violate google’s rules,
resulting in google penalizing you and your site. It’s a way some sites use to hurt the competition. NOT COOL Our site was getting tons of negative SEO,
meaning the competition was hitting us hard with terrible links. So, we started closely monitoring that problem. At the same time, we started working on our
guest posting campaign, to help get rid of those Private Blog Network links we were working
to reduce. and those backlinks don’t violate Google’s rules We had 10 new guest posts ready to publish,
sent out to various bloggers and editors, when I realized we had a big problem. 7 out of 10 of these posts contained what’s
called Exact Match Anchor Text (Text appears, maybe in big red letters). Anchor Text is just the hyperlink that is
clickable in an article or on a website. Think of the words that link to another website
when you click on them, they’re often blue (example text appears, most likely,
that’s anchor text. Using Exact Match Anchor Text means that they
were using links that were an “exact match” to the content, like linking to a webpage
on dog collars (image of a dog collar appears) by using the clickable words “dog collars”
(text appears). This kind of backlinking can cause issues
with google, and can result in your site getting penalized for having “unnatural links,”
(text appears) just like Negative SEO. Essentially, we were accidentally setting
ourselves up to be penalized. To be honest, this was largely my fault–
I hadn’t confirmed that my writing team and outreach manager were aware of avoiding
Exact Match Anchor Text, so this was a learning moment for me, as well as for our niche site
and team. We had already sent out the articles to other
websites to be published, they were all ready to go, and I knew we were about to cause ourselves
a lot more problems by allowing them to be published as is. I had to think fast. We decided to contact each of the bloggers
and editors who were about to publish our content, and ask them to publish a new version
of the article. It was risky, but it was worth it to hopefully
avoid some of the hassles that would happen if we published 7 new articles with Exact
Match Anchor Text. We didn’t get to change them all, but 4
out of 7 used the updated version of the articles, which meant a lot less Exact Match Anchor
Text making its way out there. We were relieved. So then it was time to focus on our next set
of challenges. We survived our first major hiccup, and we
had handled it well. We knew we were still in good shape, and could
continue moving forward. We were ready to keep improving our website
and getting it ready to sell. We decided to take massive action (text on
screen) to improve our site. Here’s what we did. We improved the content We identified that there were 8 pages that
were actually providing us with most of our profit. We hired excellent writers to expand and improve
each of these pages, which greatly improved our traffic and profit. It’s amazing what a difference having better
quality content will do, and by figuring out which pages were actually bringing us a profit,
we didn’t have to commit to a complete overhaul of every page on the website, only the ones
that were already making us a profit. The next thing we did as part of this massive
action was We got rid of those Personal Blog Network
(text appears) links, or “PBNs” (text appears) We focused on getting more guest writer content
on the site. We hired writers, which can seem like a big
cost, but in the long run will almost always end up paying off. We needed to get rid of 45 PBNs (text appears)
and we committed to getting rid of 15 PBNs a month (text appears), which was an achievable
goal that would make a big impact long-term. We also decided to add 60 new pages of content
(text appears) to help continue to boost traffic and profits. We saw great improvements with these steps–
our profits were steadily going up, we made $10,000 in September; $14,000 in October,
and $19,000 in November! (text appears on screen) we were making great progress on our
goal to be able to sell this site (graph appears during this). Our steps were working! But, naturally, we were about to run into
another big problem. The content team. Now, to start off with our writing team was
doing great. We were producing and improving content (text
appears), and they were writing our guest posts too (text appears) too. I hired a team of freelance writers (text
appears; ding)to do the articles and a content manager(text appears; ding) to help edit,
proofread, and get the articles ready for publication. When we started out, we were doing great! The writing team was producing about 30 articles
a week(text appears; ding). That’s a good rate for a website our size! However, pretty quickly that started to fall
apart. Their rate slowed down steadily to around
7 articles per week(text appears; buzzer), and when I asked the content manager what
was going on he kept putting me off. I wasn’t getting the information I needed,
and meanwhile, this was the week before Christmas (some sort of image or graph w/ sound effect) So I had to take action. First, I made attainable goals for the writing
team. Instead of giving them one big assignment
of publishing 35 posts, I instead asked them to work toward getting 4 posts a week published. This made their work more manageable and helped
them see it as a process, rather than a finish line. I hired 3 new writers to help our writing
team out with producing more content including the guest posts. Sometimes, you have to be willing to invest
more money short term for it to pay off long term. So, you might be wondering, “did it work??” Yep. We were able to improve the guest posting
rate(text or graph; ding), but were still behind schedule. So, a positive, but not necessarily a complete
solution. Luckily, hiring additional writers did solve
our content problem, we were able to meet our content goals (text or graph; ding) and
produce more articles. However, we still had a lot of work to do. We decided to hire an outreach team (text;
ding). This was essentially a few people who we hired
exclusively to build relationships with bloggers (text; ding) and get guest posts published
(text; ding). These folks are different from writers, because
instead of creating content, their entire focus is on getting it out there. Having both kinds of people on your team can
be a really valuable asset and save you a lot of time. So we were feeling really good! (thumbs up
image or something similar on screen; ding) we had solved a lot of problems, and we were
steadily improving. However, if you’ve been following this story,
you know that means that things were about to go wrong again. If you already run an amazon niche site, you
might know that Amazon changed their commission structure (text on screen) in March 2017. When this took effect, it wasn’t great for
us, or most niche sites. Most people I talked to experienced a 34-48%
revenue reduction (text appears; buzzer), so all things considered we actually got off
kind of easy with about a 35% revenue reduction (text appears). But still, that was pretty hard to take after
putting in all of this work over the past several months. We had done amazing work. We had increased our revenue by 320% (text
appears; ding)…. In 4 months! (text appears; ding) But this change in Amazon’s structure really
changed everything for us. We realized that we could spend countless
more hours and dollars on trying to sell this site for $500,000, or we could accept that
the rules of the game had changed, and we could move forward accordingly. We agreed to finish out our plan for improving
the site, and then posted it for sale, and try for the best price we could get, knowing
it definitely wouldn’t be $500,000. We ended up selling our site for $235,000
(text appears)! Now, I know some of you are definitely thinking,
“wow Doug, you said you were going to sell this site for $500,000, that is definitely
not $500,000, why are you celebrating?” The answer is actually pretty simple. We accomplished what we wanted to with the
site (text appears; ding); we sold the site for a good profit (text appears; ding); and
I honestly learned so much in this process (text appears; ding). Sometimes, things change, like the Amazon
commission rules, but I know that being able to adapt quickly and effectively is what makes
me and my sites successful. And now, I’m armed even better for the next
challenge I decide to take on. Hopefully, you feel a little better armed
too after watching this video series, to keep working on improving your niche sites, or
to start a new one! I know these guidelines will really help you
increase and improve your traffic and revenue. Please leave questions and comments below. Like this video if you found it helpful and
SUBSCRIBE for more like it And check out my website,
for more details on a lot of this information, plus the sign up for the email list! I have tons of useful articles and videos
for you to help you make your amazon niche site the best it can be. Question of the day: What’s your? Tell me in the comments below. Remember to check out the comments! Some of the best ideas come from YOU the Niche
Site Project community.


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