#80 – 5 Successful Affiliate Sites and What We Can Learn From Them

What you will learn

  • How a 7-page site is generating over 5 figures per month.
  • What modifiers you can use to target low competition keywords.
  • Why duplicate content isn't always a bad thing.
  • How to instantly become an authority in your field by hiring experts.

In this week’s episode, we are trying something a little bit different. We’re coining a new term – “postcast”.

Our plan is to do companion podcasts for some of the blog posts we have released recently, talk about why we did them and go into a little bit more detail in some areas.

In our very first postcast, Gael and Perrin are discussing “11 Real Life Examples Of Successful Affiliate Sites”.

Before you get started with this podcast, I would strongly recommend that you go and read through that post and familiarize yourself with the sites we’re going to be talking about.

Between them, Perrin and Gael will go through 5 of the sites listed in a little bit more detail to tell us how we can apply lessons from these sites to our own sites.

1 – PC Part Picker

PC Part Picker

PC Part Picker was started as a hobby.

It would list current PC parts and you could buy them on Amazon. To begin with, it was pretty much just shared on Reddit before it became a mainstream affiliate website.

The goal of the site is to list parts that you can build your own PC with, check all the parts are compatible with each other and then compare prices to allow you to buy the parts as cheaply as possible.

Site Stats:

  • 12.4 million monthly visits (Similarweb)
  • 33k FB fans
  • 52k Twitter followers

More than half of the overall traffic comes from direct traffic. This means that it comes from people typing in the address or from the links being shared on forums, etc.

What We Like

The main achievement from PC Part Picker isn’t the content itself, it’s the incredible tool that allows you to find the right parts for the computer you are building.

The content itself is in the form of guides from experts. So, these guys are real experts who build their own machines and tell the readers how to integrate the latest parts and releases into their builds.

What You Can Learn

The tool from PC Part Picker is really advanced.

It would be hard to replicate this tool straight away when launching your own site but the real takeaway here is to create something that is really useful to consumers in your niche. Think about the problems that your readers face, is there a tool you can create that would make things easier, faster or cheaper for them?

What we can also learn from the Wayback Machine is that big sites develop from small sites. PC Part Picker started as merely a review site. Now it’s a comprehensive tool and comparison site.

How Could it Grow?

Review Modifier – PC Part Picker is missing some basic SEO stuff. They’re ranking for loads of PC parts but if they just added the “review” modifier the could rank for a whole bunch of additional keywords.

Add Content to Silo pages – Along the same lines, they have very powerful silo pages. However, there is no content there, Just by adding a little bit of content, they could rank for a whole bunch of new keywords.

Warranties – PC Part Picker can build a service behind the website by simply selling warranties. This can generate a lot of additional revenue without a great deal of cost.

2 – 50 EM

50em

50EM is an incredibly simple site – it is only 7 pages.

The site is entirely dedicated to comparing Infusionsoft and Ontraport.

These sites have extremely lucrative affiliate programs. Ontraport has a payout of around $1,000 whereas Infusionsoft has a recurring revenue model where they are paying out around $75 per month per sale on an ongoing basis.

What We Like

They are not going for straight up review keywords but instead are going for “vs” keywords.

Cleverly, they have picked out the most popular products in their niche and have recognized that people have a tough time choosing whether to buy one or the other. Most of their content is around comparing these two tools against each other rather than reviewing each of them on a standalone basis.

They also offer support. You can jump on a live chat with them or submit a contact form. What they are basically doing is treating it as though it was their own product.

The commission is so high that it allows them to invest money into support and treat it as though it is their own product.

How Could it Grow?

50EM has not been updated recently.

They could grow by recommending new tools that are doing all the things that Infusionsoft and Ontraport have been doing well in the past but better.

They could also improve their own content very easily by including screenshots of the products, for example.

What You Can Learn

High Paying Affiliates – It can make sense to target high-paying affiliate programs. Especially those with recurring revenue models where the commissions end up stacking on top of each other.

“Vs” Modifier – Comparing products can be a great way to get traffic from low competition keywords.

Support – It can make sense to offer support on your own high commission pages to help increase conversions.

3 – This Is Why I’m Broke

This Is Why I’m Broke

This is Why I’m Broke curates a bunch of novelty items and gifts into a list.

It’s a browsing site where you are browsing really weird stuff, crazy tech and wacky gifts.

What We Like

A lot of this site’s success can be attributed to the fact that it is extremely focused on fun.

Site Stats:

  • 2.5m visits per month
  • < 50% from search
  • < 5% from social

By having a really high fun factor, they have managed to get people coming back for more. The branding really helps people remember the domain name and the fun they have had there so that they just keep in having fun.

There is not a lot of great content. The thing here is that they do not care about Google. The social business model means that they don’t need to focus time, effort and money on content.

There is still something like 500k visits per month from Google. Looking through the keywords, it seems that a lot of these come through pages with the modifier “gift”.

What You Can Learn

Branding Matters – You don’t need to rely on Google if you can get people to keep on coming back to your site.

Gift Modifier – Thinking outside the box beyond only using the “review” modifier. We have already had “vs” and you can also use “gift”.

How it Can Grow

Basic SEO – Write more content for pages you are already ranking for.

Amazon FBA – Find crazy gifts from Alibaba, promote them on the homepage and this could end up being a massive opportunity.

Mystery Box Subscription – A monthly subscription service for something like $20 per month where they put together this crazy box of gifts or hand choose a single gift each month could be a winner.

4 – Dating Advice

Dating Advice

Dating Advice gets around 500k visits per month. The site, as I’m sure you can guess, gives dating advice.

What Do We Like

It’s a very clean site, there are no pop-ups, no in your face CTAs.

This sets them up to have the best experience in the industry. It makes it feel like the site is all about giving dating advice and that there is no real focus on monetization.

There is a lot of info content that is really great. There are categories for straight, gay, lesbian, black dating. It’s pretty comprehensive.

What Can You Learn?

Hire Successful Bloggers – They have hired people who are already established in the community. This allows them to use their social channels, their faces and their personal brand to give themselves instant credibility.

Lots of Content – They clearly have vast resources. This has allowed them to create lots of content to target long tail keywords on a regular basis.

How Could it Grow?

They only review dating sites/ networks. This can go much further. They could review books, info products, tips for dates.

They could even go as far as self-improvement – how to get a better smile.

Another possible route is to go in the travel direction – “best places for singles to travel”.

In reality, it should be grown into a single lifestyle site rather than stay as narrow as it is at the moment.

It’s also crazy that they are not building a list. It would be so easy to build a list and this could increase their revenue significantly.

5 – Shut Up Sit Down

Shut Up Sit Down

Shut up and Sit Down is a board game review and hobby site.

It’s a large site with thousands of articles. At the moment, it is getting over 800k hits per month.

They have this great website, they’ve launched a podcast and they also have a really good YouTube channel about board games.

What we Like

We really like that they have built the entire site around their personalities. They are essentially the Top Gear of board games (without the racism).

What’s also interesting is that they have a donation button on their website. This probably wouldn’t work if they didn’t have this great personality.

Infinite Review Keywords – There are so many board games, this means that there is basically a limitless number of review keywords.

Not all about the money – Another positive is that they are very user-focused. This means that they will write a review of a board game, even if they cannot make money from it.

This an example of turning a passion into a successful business. This doesn’t happen very often and we wouldn’t always recommend it.

How it Can Grow

Create a Product – This has pros and cons. The fact that they are so passionate about board games, they could create a really great product. The drawback here is that it might not make them be seen as objective because they have their own product. In this industry, it may be better to be a top critic than to be an average product owner.

Investor – Board games a really popular on Kickstarter because they are cheap to create. They are in a great position to partner with these people in exchange for promotion on their site.

What Can You Learn

Ask for Donations – If you have a really good site, with a great brand that is built around your personality. It’s really easy to set it up and try it.

Infinite Review Keywords – If there is new stuff coming out all the time, and the old stuff doesn’t necessarily go out of date, you can target this kind of sub-section of your niche and create a whole bunch of article that can generate a lot of traffic to your site.

Conclusion

It can be really useful to look at successful affiliate websites when you are looking to launch your own site. It can give you some great inspiration.

It can be incredibly useful to look at sites in other niches. This allows you to be inspired by the content and adapt it to your own market, rather than copying directly from a competitor.

It also helps to look back at the first instances of these sites. They weren’t incredible. The first version of your site can easily be better than the first version of their sites and you can grow them over time.

Finally, it’s important to find an interesting angle. Think outside the box. There is a basic model that we teach in The Authority Site System (TASS). Once you have your basic version of the site, look around and get inspiration from the top sites. You can use the money generated from the basic version of your site and reinvest it to create something amazing.

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