The purpose of this post is to inspire and show what is truly possible when you shut out the noise and focus on the dream of becoming a successful Amazon Affiliate Marketing expert.
I have been an affiliate marketer for a few years, starting off in the health sector, creating and promoting health niche websites and seeing some success there.
But there was a part of me that always wanted to create something bigger than the standard niche websites that most internet marketers kept pushing people to create.
And I read all of the arguments put forward by many a “guru” about how a large multi-niche affiliate website would never work, would never rank well, and that sticking to creating a small empire of niche websites was the way forward.
Well I do love a challenge and to be honest, the arguments just did not make sense to me.
My background is in IT so I am very much a logical thinker and apply logic to everything I do. I have also been blessed to have extensive experience working in IT in the retail sector for some of the largest retail companies in London. I love retail and I am passionate about it!
Add into the mix the fact that I am avid about customer service, I felt I possessed the skills needed to create a successful multi-niche affiliate website.
I hasten to add that my background in IT was never in the internet or online sector. Everything I have learned in this online internet marketing space has been completely self taught over the past few years and I am still learning.
I chose Amazon as the company whose products I wanted to promote on my new website, and I had never promoted them before and I specifically chose the US market only as my target market.
I knew being an Amazon affiliate would be challenging, especially given the commissions rates and the need to ramp up sales substantially to reap the rewards.
Now I do want to point out here that I put a lot of hours into research before I started the website – and I do mean a lot of hours. The approach I took from the very beginning was that I was building a business, not a website, and I would not leave any stone unturned or take any shortcuts.
I researched every single thing – from the domain name, the theme I chose, the colors I chose, the logo for branding, the hosting I chose, the plugins I chose, the font size I chose, the images I chose, the categories I chose, the layout I designed and chose, the products I chose etc. It was a very long list!
When I mean I researched all of these, I don’t mean that I went out to see what other internet marketers/experts/gurus were saying.
No. I went and sought out reports on what business industry experts were saying. I completely switched off from what the usual internet marketers were saying, as I was going against their belief anyway that a website like this could even work.
I read business reports, retail statistics for the US market, reports on branding from leading experts, UX (user experience) reports, etc., and digested all of the information.
Once I had carefully selected my theme and my hosting, the foundation for my new business venture, I was all set to go.
At this point, I am not going to go through a detailed account of everything I did from there on, other than to say that once I took that first step in May 2013, I completely immersed myself into the goal of building a business that people would be proud to visit and spend money in, and I never, ever allowed myself to get diverted from that.
Every single decision I took with the business had my potential customers at the forefront of my mind. This website was being built for them and not for me.
Sure I kept an eye on what was going on in IM, and kept participating in forums I belong to. You have to really, because when you are an online entrepreneur, you must keep touch with all that is happening so that you can stay ahead of the curve.
I did not use any internet marketer’s, guru’s or expert’s guide to build the website. I deliberately chose not to. After all, I was disrupting how traditional affiliate marketing was being done.
Instead, I downloaded Google’s own free SEO guide and followed that to the letter. I also followed Google’s Webmaster Videos on their Youtube channel, and the fantastic information that is freely available in the Google Products Forum. All of these combined taught me what I should and shouldn’t do.
I added the domain name to Google Webmaster Tools and I added Google Analytics to the site.
I started building the website and started making commissions in the very first month. As I continued to build the website out, the commissions continued to increase substantially month on month.
I was not alone in building the site. I worked closely with my US based writer and colleague Martie, and together we honed and finely tuned the content and the layout of that content.
We brainstormed ideas for a review template and after discarding a number of our ideas, we finally settled on our preferred choice.
I would like to point out here that I built NO BACKLINKS to the website! I had the odd bitly link from a Twitter post to an article on the site, or from Google+ or Facebook, but hardly any really as I realised that was not the way to use those accounts and changed track on those pretty quickly to use them to build a brand.
I did initially start off using Pinterest as I thought it could be of value in helping with traffic and sales, but after a lot of research, I decided to discard it and sent a request to Google to deindex all of the Pinterest boards.
The content on the site ranked on merit with Google and within a few short months, Google gave the site a PR ranking of 2. Most of the content for the site was created by my content writer friend Martie in the US whom I work closely with on every project I work on.
I took the website to an absolute high, with consistently high 4 digit earnings month in month out, and of course I got a massive buzz from the large Amazon checks that arrived in the post every month.
At one point, the site had over 60 no. 1 rankings and multiple page 1 rankings!
The site has withstood every single Google Algorithm change that has been released and continues to do so even now, proving that when you build a solid framework and don’t take shortcuts, you can build a website that will stand the test of time.
I took the decision in April 2014 to sell the website and I concluded that sale early May, making a substantial profit in the process. The buyer was a US investor who approached me, looking to add to his portfolio of websites. We are continually in touch and I continue to consult on the website when needed.
The website still holds several no.1 rankings and several page 1 rankings. It still has NO BANKLINKS built to it, yet has acquired lots of natural backlinks.
I have spoken with the new owner several times and earnings from the site are continually increasing and he is experience his first absolute bumper shopping season in November and December!
One thing I do want to point out, especially in the light of what has happened to Zujava. I worked extremely closely with Amazon when I was building out the website.
No matter what advice internet marketers or gurus were giving, I always double checked every single step I took with Amazon. I learnt a lot from them, I built a relationship with them, and I followed their advice and guidance every step of the way.
They commended me on the fantastic extremely low return rate the website achieved, the lowest they have ever seen in their history, and asked how I had achieved it.
I wanted to share all of this so that you all can see what is truly possible in Amazon Affiliate Marketing. I built an incredible Amazon Affiliate Website in only 11 months and earned substantially from it, then sold it for a substantial profit.
This is what is possible if you create a plan, stick to it and follow it.
Now, some of you are probably wondering what’s next for me? Am I going to build another website?
I have to say that 2014 has already been an extraordinary year for me! I feel truly blessed!
Shortly after selling my website, literally a few days after, I attended Norah Casey’s Women Entrepreneur’s Conference in Dublin. It was an all day event and needless to say, I was on a complete high following the successful sale of my website. I had actually attended this event the previous year and found it quite inspiring, so naturally I was looking forward to attending it again.
Norah Casey is the chairwoman of Harmonia Publishing, Ireland’s largest magazine company, a radio and television broadcaster and publisher, an entrepreneur and one of Ireland’s most inspiring and most influential businesswomen.
The difference of course in attending it last year was that I walked into the conference as a fully fledged successful Online Entrepreneur.
There was an all day Twitter competition, and while I don’t profess to be some kind of expert on Twitter, while using it for my Amazon website, I learnt a lot.
I won the competition and won an incredible €27K Business Package, which includes a €6K Cruise (heading off to Norway on it on the 9th May 2015!!) , €10K Corporate Sponsorship, €10K Magazine Advertising and a €700 Nokia Tablet! I was blown away as the conference was attended by several hundred businesswomen, many tweeting on their iPhones and I just sent a few chosen tweets on my old mobile phone and won!
I can honestly say that 2014 has been a mind-blowing year for me! So what’s next?
Yes, I do have a couple of websites in the pipeline. One is this marketing blog where I can pay it forward and share a lot of the things I learnt along the way when I was building my successful Amazon website. I have been inundated with requests from people to do this following the successful sale of my website.
And the other website will be another affiliate website, but something on a massive global scale. It’s an idea I have had for a very long time and it is a totally different approach to how affiliate marketing has been done before. I have already spoken to Amazon about it as I needed their permission on a few things. This one I will eventually need to bring in other affiliates and developers to work with me on it.
Work has already begun on the new affiliate website, and agreements have been reached with other affiliates to come on board. And the door will be open for affiliates in all sectors, not just Amazon affiliates, to come on board this exciting project too.
I’m very excited about this project because it will completely disrupt how affiliate marketing is currently being done and open up a world of possibilities, not just for affiliates, but for anyone with a product to sell, be it a company or an individual.
I have been mentoring and coaching other affiliates who are trying to build good solid Amazon affiliate websites, and I’m delighted that with my help they have significant improvement in their Amazon sales and commissions!
Amazon approached me to review their new Amazon Associates Education Center where they cover topics such as SEO, Content Marketing, Conversion Optimization, etc. so I need to devote some time to that and provide them with feedback and suggestions.
The sole purpose of Bowerbird Marketing and this post in particular is to show all of you what is truly possible when you set your mind to it.
Enjoy the site. Visit often as I start sharing all of the golden nuggets of information needed to build a successful online website, regardless of whether it’s an affiliate site or not.