The DJI Affiliate Program | Monetizing The Drone Niche
If you're obsessed with drones, this post is for you.
Indeed, there is a rabid audience of drone-enthusiasts looking for quality content- particularly pre-purchase information.
It's no coincidence that one of the top drone sellers (DJI) has a pretty popular affiliate program (paying 5% commission) you can join to monetize your drone content.
And these drones are expensive:
DJI, aka Dà-Jiāng Innovations, is a Chinese technology company, founded in 2006, and headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, according to Wikipedia.
According to Technode, it the 'world’s top drone seller' made $2.7 billion in 2017.
Besides drones, DJI manufactures "camera gimbals, flight platforms, cameras, propulsion systems, camera stabilizers, and flight control systems".
DJI markets itself as:
"As the market leader in easy-to-fly drones and aerial photography systems, DJI quadcopters have become the standard in consumer drone technology."
If you examine their site navigation, you can get a clear view of the different markets they serve:
This includes Consumer, Professional, and Enterprise customers.
Drone Keyword Research
I extracted 1,000 of DJI's top-performing organic keywords:
You can see that they rank for a ton of brand terms like:
- dji spark
- dji mavic pro
- dji phantom 4
- mavic pro
- dji mavic
- dji phantom 4
- dji phantom 3
- mavic air
- dji mavic air
- dji phantom 3
- dji phantom 4 pro
- dji drone
Getting Started With Niche SitesUse the strategies on this page in conjunction with my niche site process. Here it is in a nutshell:
- AuthorityHacker's Authority Site System (my review): a complete, step-by-step system to start growing your own highly profitable affiliate & authority niche site.
- A cloud-based on-page optimization tool: Surfer SEO makes your on-page SEO easier, faster, and more effective than ever using data-driven, real-time signals to rank in search engines.
- A reliable and fast hosting solution like SiteGround (my review)
- A brandable domain name from GoDaddy (my guide)
- A premium theme- I use GeneratePress but there are some cool niche themes on ThemeForest
- SEO Friendly Article Writing ($8-$12 / 1,000 words) from HireWriters (read: my HireWriters review)
- Powerful Backlinks from Authority.Builders (read: my Authority.Builders review)
- An automated social media drip campaign from MissingLettr
- An auto-responder to build your email list– ConvertKit is what I'm using (read: my ConvertKit review)
- Finally- you can always refer to my free step-by-step niche selection guide and all of my free niche reports for inspiration
The Big Idea
The tried and true affiliate-marketing formula is traffic + affiliate links = passive income commissions.
So, how do you get traffic?
I would recommend creating keyword-targeted content. This content will live on your website, on YouTube, on Instagram, etc.
How To Get Traffic
This applies to both Google and YouTube.
But, first, when it comes to Google, I'd create 1,500+ word content with optimized on-page SEO.
Here's an example of a page optimizing for the Phantom 4.
You can see that DroneRush has some great rankings for high buyer-intent keywords:
Rankings include things like:
- phantom 4 pro review
- dji phantom 4 pro review
- phantom 4 pro camera
- phantom 4 pro camera specs
- phantom 4 pro plus review
- phantom 4 review
- dji phantom reviews
- dji phantom 4 pro plus review
This is a really high-quality site- you can see that DroneRush has actually acquired the drones to test and produced a ton of branded imagery.
You can see that all these images are indexed by Google:
They probably get a good deal of image referral traffic- especially if they push these images out across their social-media platforms.
Check out this huge drone Instagram profile to get a sense of the potential traffic you can push to the DJI affiliate program:
Tellingly, if you visit Drone Gear's website, according to Ahrefs, at the time of this writing, it's ranking for under 1,000 keywords.
The two sites have very different traffic strategies- DroneRush has great site traffic and content, but small social (particularly Instagram). DroneGear, on the other hand, has a powerful Instagram presence, but a pretty small SEO presence.
Obviously, you'll want to craft a traffic strategy that fits your personality. Personally, I couldn't imagine building a 6 figure Instagram profile.
YouTube is an obvious traffic source.
You can see that DroneRush has a modest YouTube channel:
If you search for the Phatom 4 you can see some videos with big view counts:
Casey Neistat, a huge YouTuber, has a Phatom 4 review with over 5 million views, as of this writing!
If you run a drone authority site, it makes sense to publish interesting YouTube drone videos- perhaps publishing drone reviews and targeting some of these buyer-intent keywords.
You can use DJI affiliate links or even use the Amazon affiliate program, once you've registered the social media platform with the Amazon Associates program.
As I mentioned above- drones lend themselves to visual imagery.
Check out some of the gorgeous images from Drone Gear Instagram page:
Obviously, I'm not going to guide you to a 6-figure Instagram following.
There's a ton of those tutorials out there.
The point here is that there's a lot of different ways you can get traffic if you're in the drone niche- especially if you're an especially visual person.
Read More Of My Niche Reports
Affiliate vs Display
If you sort the drone keyword research table at the beginning of this post by Cost Per Click, you'll see that there aren't a lot of high CPC keywords.
Perhaps it's because a lot of people who are searching for drone terms are just looking around for cool imagery and aren't in the market to buy.
But, the takeaway is that affiliate will really be a great option here- you can publish lots of product reviews of all the individual models of drones.
Read my formatting guide to learn how to create high-converting product reviews.
DJI vs Amazon Affiliate
The Amazon Associates program is obviously a great option here.
You'll want to analyze, however, how it compares with DJI's own affiliate program.
Considerations are how well each converts for you, what product inventory is available, and of course their respective commission rates.
The DJI affiliate program pays 5% commissions. Perusing Amazon, many of the drones sit in the Toys category (3% commission) or in the Other category (4% commission).
It does appear that DJI pays a higher commission than what Amazon pays- but, doubtless, Amazon will convert much better.
Plus DJI might have products that Amazon doesn't have and vice versa.
If you had a drone website, you could experiment promoting both simultaneously.
Perhaps providing a pair of Calls To Action to either Amazon or DJI so that readers can quickly check which site has the better price for the Phantom 4, for example.
This is a pretty cool niche.
My only qualm is that there's a ton of junky affiliate sites out there trying to rank and bank for drone terms.
That's why I recommend creating high-quality content- i.e., actually buying the drones to test them and create compelling imagery for your website and associated social media accounts.