The top reasons why you haven’t started your affiliate site yet probably look something like this:
- All the easy niches are gone
- It takes too long to get traffic
- You have no idea where to start
But what if I told you that you could find more profitable niches and keywords than you could ever use?
And that you could do it as often as you want.
So that you could produce an affiliate income like this:
Well, believe it or not…this article is going to show you how to do just that.
Including sites with almost zero authority that rank for juicy affiliate keywords.
Get ready to take lots of notes!
Tracking the trackers
When you promote an affiliate offer your site usually links to a tracking domain of some kind.
These domains are separate from the parent website, so most affiliates don’t give them a second thought.
What are they used for?
Basically, to direct the click to the correct affiliate offer and make sure you get credited for any sales.
An example of this is Amazon.com – their tracking domain is Amazon.to.
So, every time you link to an affiliate offer you’re also linking to one of these tracking domains.
This got me thinking…tracking domains probably have millions of affiliate links pointing to them.
And what if…I could reverse engineer the backlink profile of a tracking domain?
So I ran the Amazon tracking domain (Amzn.to) through Ahrefs:
It’s a DR94 domain…with links from 739,000 domains.
Each of these domains represents an affiliate site.
Some of which are bound to be making money.
But who has the time to filter through hundreds of thousands of domains?
So you can use the Ahrefs Backlinks report to filter by things like authority, search traffic, platform type, language, etc.
This allows you to refine your results to dig out the exact information you want from a sea of affiliate sites.
Like low authority sites that actually get a lot of traffic to their Amazon affiliate pages.
But this doesn’t just work with Amazon.
It works with ALL affiliate programs.
Yep – https://shareasale.com/r.cfm
You got it – www.kqzyfj.com
You can use this method with any tracking domain you can think of.
And to make your job even easier here’s a list of the tracking domains used by the bigger affiliate networks:
- ClickBank: hop.clickbank.net
- ShareaSale: https://shareasale.com/r.cfm
- Amazon: amzn.to
- Avantlink: classic.avantlink.com
- Link connector: www.linkconnector.com/ta.php or www.linkconnector.com/traffic_affiliate.php
- Awin: www.awin1.com
- CJ: www.kqzyfj.com
- Rakuten: https://signup.linkshare.com/publishers/
- Avangate: https://secure.2checkout.com/affiliate.php
- FlexOffers: https://track.flexlinkspro.com/a.ashx
- Pepperjam: https://www.pjatr.com/t/
So that’s a useful hack, Gael…but how does it help me make money?
There are 4 ways you can use this concept to put more money in your bank account:
#1 Finding easy niches
Now I’m going to show exactly how you can find niches to profit from, but without a ton of authority or backlinks.
Most of which you would never, ever have thought of before.
Which makes this method worth its weight in gold.
Let’s use Amazon’s tracking domain as an example.
We’re going to filter down as follows:
- One link per domain
- Platform – Blogs
- Language – English
- Traffic – minimum of 100
And I end up with 11,473 domains.
Next up, I sort these by DR, from lowest to highest:
Patience is a virtue…so let Ahrefs do its thing here – it can take a few minutes for each query to process.
Remember, you’re dealing with thousands of domains here.
When the filtering is complete it’s time to go shopping for interesting niche sites.
Here are a few examples of what our backward engineering of backlinks turned up:
Geek Baby Clothes
Geek Baby Clothes is a niche site about cute clothing for the children of geeks and nerds.
So that’s a pretty cool angle on the “baby niche” i.e. it’s not the usual “baby shower ideas” stuff.
But what’s really interesting about it is the site is a DR1….with 12,000 organic searches per month:
But the actual traffic figure is probably 3x that.
So you could spend some time poking around in the kind of keywords they’re targeting if you need some inspiration.
And just to show you that this isn’t a one-off, here’s another interesting, and very niche, site.
Tanning Review is a site all about getting a tan.
And nothing else.
It’s also a great example of how thinking outside the box can work really well.
I mean, which of you would have thought of the “tanning” niche before today?
And that you could earn money reviewing home tanning machines or lotions.
Something else to pay attention to is how much traffic this DR 0.8 site gets – almost 7,000 organic visitors per month.
And this is a site that will probably generate at least 10x as much traffic as it gains more authority.
The last niche site I found was KnifeUser.com.
Which is a site…about knives, so no surprises there.
But what might catch your eye is that despite it being a DR 13 site it gets over 26,000 organic visitors per month.
DR 13 is almost nothing – it took 89 links to get there.
And a lot of those are junk links e.g. forum posts, Blogspot, etc.
This is one of those niches I would never have thought of without using this method.
There’s also a lot of potential still in this niche for those of you paying attention.
Lesson: You don’t need a ton of DR to get thousands of visitors per month.
#2 Find easy keywords
The second use of this tactic is finding keywords in competitive niches that you have a shot at.
Or finding keywords that help you promote a specific offer that’s already making you some money.
A lot of affiliates stay as far away from competitive niches as possible.
They assume every keyword is going to need a DR90 site to rank.
Let’s take Semrush as an example.
They pay 40% commission, so that’s going to attract a lot of affiliate marketers.
So I go to grab my affiliate link…and then notice something:
Semrush doesn’t use a tracking domain.
But wait…they do use a UTM parameter to track referrals: “utm_source=berush”
So now I have a footprint for their affiliate program that I can use to track them.
I run Semrush through Ahrefs and check out their ‘Backlink profile’:
And then I’m going to add my UTM parameter to the ‘Include’ filter:
Next up I set ‘Any Target’ to ‘URLs of backlinks’ to get the results we want:
Lots of affiliate sites promoting the Semrush affiliate program.
From here, I can apply the usual filters for traffic, blog, English, DR, etc.
But that’s also when I noticed an anomaly.
I couldn’t find any of the big Semrush promoters.
No Matthew Woodward.
No Robbie Richards.
No Niche Pursuits.
So I went looking for answers as to why these guys were missing from the Ahrefs report.
This started with a Google search for the term ‘Semrush review’ because I know any of these guys are going to want to rank for a big fat keyword like that.
Matthew Woodward was ranking for it, so I took a long at how his affiliate links are formatted:
He’s not using a tracking domain – he’s using a redirect:
So, I ran this through a redirect checker to find the destination page:
And I found this:
So his actual affiliate URL is this – it doesn’t use the “utm_source=berush” parameter.
How is this possible?
Basically, Semrush has a VIP affiliate program for people who can send a ton of potential business their way.
Matthew is part of this elite group.
It’s also a pretty safe bet that other VIPs are also tracked through ‘https://www.semrush.com/partner/’.
So I ran it through Ahrefs to check.
Then filtered by ‘One link per domain’ and got a list of 698 domains:
From there I apply my usual filters:
- Platform – Blog
- Language – English
- Min. 100 organic traffic
And then go looking for new angles on how I might go about promoting Semrush.
You’re leveraging the creativity of others here.
And who better to take inspiration from than somebody like Robbie Richards?
His blog post on ‘6 Best SimilarWeb Alternatives’ takes a keyword with commercial intent and then mentions a high-paying affiliate offer in the form of Semrush as the #1 alternative.
There’s not a ton of traffic to this page:
But what visitors do show up are looking for a replacement for SimilarWeb.
Which makes them the literal perfect audience for a 14-day free trial of Semrush.
So, I’d imagine this page converts pretty well.
Another one that caught my eye was this post on FreshSparks:
“11 Simple Steps for a Successful Brand Building Process”.
This is a detailed guide to building your own brand that features Semrush as part of the process.
95% of other bloggers literally just push this SEO tool in a review format or “How to use Semrush for X”.
FreshSparks uses a much softer sell, and probably a lot more effective.
And also attracts a lot more traffic.
Custom landing pages are something you’ll encounter quite often with high-paying affiliate offers.
This is how you deal with them.
#3 Find profitable affiliate programs
Here’s a perfect example of something you didn’t go looking for when researching a topic but turns out to be really valuable.
Analyzing the backlink profile of a tracking domain can reveal all kinds of goodies.
Including a very unexpected one – proven affiliate programs.
Let’s run the CJ tracking domain through ‘Site Explorer’, again filtering by:
- One link per domain
- Platform – Blogs
- Language – English
- Traffic – Minimum of 100
Now you’ll see all the usual stuff like ‘Referring page’, ‘DR’, etc.
But under ‘Anchor and backlink’ we find this:
The name of the affiliate program being promoted on a page that gets at least 27,235 organic traffic per month.
I’d never heard of Vueling.com before today.
But I now know they generate revenue for ThriftyNomads.com.
Otherwise they wouldn’t waste their time promoting them since Feb 2019.
You can repeat this process on Awin, where we find a printable tarot cards offer:
That to me is a perfect sub-niche in the spirituality vertical.
What about ShareASale?
Grammarly looks like a solid program to promote based on what we see here:
Long story short, this method can be used by you on any tracking domain.
How cool is that?
#4 Build a list of competitors
And now we come to the third way to make use of this particular research hack.
Finding sites to add to your existing list of competitors.
All good marketers should have a competitors list that they can analyze and research when they need to create new content.
If we circle back to KnifeUser.com – one of the niche sites I mentioned earlier in this article.
They’re getting a lot of traffic despite not having a huge amount of authority.
Even back when they were barely a DR1 their site was still getting almost 20,000 organic visitors per month.
So they’re obviously doing something right.
And when you run their site through ‘Site Explorer’ and filter by ‘Top Pages’ you get proof:
The top page on KnifeUser.com gets 5,703 organic searches per month.
And for a keyword that the average affiliate would never come up with on their: 8cr13mov
This is a very specific type and model of knife.
So you’re not going to find any keyword research tool randomly spitting this result out either.
And that’s what makes this method a gold mine for low authority keyword research.
You’ll find proven topics that are almost guaranteed to make you money in the early stages of your affiliate journey.
Which is pretty much unheard of in this game.
So make the most of it while you can!
Hopefully, you can now see how easy it is to uncover profitable affiliate niches and keywords.
You’ll find more affiliate opportunities than you will ever have time to take advantage of.
You now have a secret weapon that you can deploy whenever you need it.
And that’s just a sample of what we can teach you.
All of it with a specific mission – to help you build your first profitable affiliate site.
So, why not sign up for our free training?
It won’t cost you a cent.
And you’ll actually learn tons of useful stuff like how we set up our sites, the best ways to create content, link building, etc.