Home Blog

Ranking For Antiques: How To Build A Collectibles Website

old antique bureau chest of wooden drawers isolated on white background isolated with clipping path

Growing up, my family collected a lot of antiques.

My parents were friends with a heavily tattooed antique dealer and we purchased a plethora of 19th-century furniture and lamps from him and other NYC-area auction houses.

Things like this Horner dining room table, which is our dinner table to this day:

Victorian Quarter Sawn Oak RJ Horner Winged Griffin Oak Dining Table with leaves For Sale at 1stdibs

My father bid at local NYC auctions, but eBay revolutionized the collectibles market when it launched in 1995.

Our home is packed to the gills with antique lamps, Persian rugs, ornately carved mirrors, even a baby grand Mason & Hamlin piano with real ivory keys.

And we aren’t alone:

According to IBIS, the U.S. market for Online Antiques & Collectibles in 2020 is a $1.5 Billion dollar industry that includes:

“retails or auctions antiques and collectibles, such as coins, jewelry, books, figurines and memorabilia.”

Online-Antiques-Collectibles-Sales-in-the-US-Market-Size-IBISWorld

(Source)

It’s clearly a huge, growing market.

How can you capitalize on it? In this niche report, I’ll walk you through how I’d approach creating and monetizing an antiques and collectibles niche site.

The Big Idea

Rank for high priced, antique keywords like “art deco furniture”, “antique radios for sale”, “apothecary cabinet” and monetize with affiliate and display ads.

Antique Site Examples

To get a sense of the big players in the antiques niche, I extracted the top 10 organic competitors for Collectors Weekly, which is “is an online resource for people interested in antiques, collectibles, and vintage items”:

Organic_keywords_for_www_collectorsweekly_com

Collectors Weekly has a ton of informational antique content. As opposed to eCommerce sites like 1stdibs, which actually sells antiques.

Presumably, if you’re entering this niche, you’re not going to be an antique seller.

You’re going to be writing about antiques and monetizing with affiliate marketing and display ads.

So these are going to be your most relevant competitors:

TargetDomain RatingTotal BacklinksTotal KeywordsTotal Traffic
https://rubylane.com751,240,806599,172298,283
https://carters.com.au345,870169,52861,527
https://antiquetrader.com62122,50669,90422,069
https://realorrepro.com534,22652,02225,591
https://replacements.com65155,900246,017289,815
https://skinnerinc.com6113,238,51780,67327,621
https://drloriv.com353,27728,49118,308
https://dustyoldthing.com4447,33382,03934,429
https://kovels.com5340,17233,62816,901
https://adirondackgirlatheart.com3626,43518,3237,583

How Do They Make Money?

As always, there are 3 ways websites make money: ads, affiliate, commerce.

Collectors Weekly, an informational content site, runs ads and does affiliate marketing.

Check out one of their recent articles on the Beatles:

Rockin’_at_the_Rollarena_Pre_Summer_of_Love_Collectors_Weekly

You can see them running ads on the site (1); pushing traffic to an art market search engine called Barnebys (2), which is probably an affiliate relationship; and (3) they direct traffic internally to their Category pages, in this case for “Records” or “Beatles” or “Rolling Stones“.

These Category pages, like this one, have a prominent above the fold ad (1), are pushing traffic to eBay (2) and to Barnebys (3) that redirects traffic to different art and auction houses:

Fine_Art_Collectors_Weekly

What I’d Do

If you’re interested in this niche, the first thing I’d suggest doing is pouring over the keyword research.

Keyword Research

I extracted 1,000 of 1stdib’s top-performing organic keywords, screening out branded search terms:

You can see lots of expensive furniture with really low Keyword Difficulties.

Antique Sub-Niches

  • Tables
  • Purses
  • Lamps
  • Rugs
  • Watches
  • Diamonds
  • Chairs
  • Sofas

Imagine ranking for “cocobolo desk” and generating sales on a $15,000 piece of furniture:

Rare Cocobolo Wood desk Don Shoemaker For Sale at 1stdibs

With a 3% commission rate, you’d earn $450 on that purchase.

This is definitely an under the radar, high-ticket affiliate opportunity.

The question becomes- how deep should you niche down?

I might be tempted to go ‘general’ and try to rank for any and all of these keywords, basically what Collector’s Weekly does.

Or maybe I specialize in a certain style of antiques like Art Deco, or a type of furniture like desks.

There’s no definite answer- though I’d avoid niching down so small that you restrict your site potential.

Monetization

Affiliate

I’d also try to figure out what my monetization options are before starting to build the site.

Create a Google Sheet and begin sketching out your options.

Here’s an example when I was exploring the ink cartridge niche:

Site_Structures_Google_Sheets

You don’t want to start building a site and ultimately realize there aren’t any good affiliate opportunities.

Antique Affiliate Programs

I’d begin Googling around and checking inside of the popular affiliate networks like ShareASale, Rakuten Linkshare, etc. to unearth opportunities.

1stdibs

Taking a look at the most obvious option, 1stdibs doesn’t have an affiliate program at this time. Maybe you can create a private deal once you have some traffic, but for now, it’s not an option.

eBay

eBay is another option- it’s easy to join, they have somewhat decent affiliate advertising tools, and they have the inventory, but the problem with them is that their affiliate terms are pretty poor.

Currently, eBay is paying 3% on Antiques purchases, but the Referral period is only 1 day.

That means, after 24 hours of clicking your Cocobolo eBay affiliate link, if that person outright buys, or wins the auction, you’re paid nothing.

For considered purchases like this, it’s not likely you’re going to have people buying within 24 hours.

Wayfair

Wayfair could work- granted, they don’t sell antiques, but it’s conceivable that if someone wants a cocobolo desk, but can’t afford a $15k antique, you can convert them on a new desk for a couple hundred:

Three Posts Margate Credenza Desk - Wayfair

I’d wait until I have some traffic and a decent-looking site before applying to them. I’ve been in the Wayfair program for many years, but I hear that new people are having some difficulty joining.

Amazon

A lot of people are writing off Amazon ever since their drastic commission reductions, but it’s still the best-converting affiliate option you’re going to find.

Like Wayfair, Amazon isn’t in the business of antiques. But you can find new furniture options to cross-sell your users.

Currently, Amazon’s U.S. Furniture category earns 3% commissions.

Barneby’s

Barneby’s is a is a “search engine for art, antiques and collectibles from more than 3,000 auction houses and galleries around the world. Barneby’s offers a free-to-use database of realized prices, dating back to the beginning of the 1970s and providing over forty million sold lots (Source).”

I’d wait a while until I had meaningful traffic before applying to Barneby’s.

Smaller Options

Outside some of the big players, there are a variety of niche affiliate programs.

A couple of sites list out a bunch of different options (like this and this), including Victorian Trading Co, Country French Antiques, Woolvey Fine Antiques, Antique Farm House and more.

I’d add all of these to my spreadsheet, including commission rates and conversion stats, if available.

Having compiled all of this data, if I’m starting a new site in this niche, I’d probably just go with eBay to start.

Once I begin getting traffic, I’d consider applying to some of the niche programs that have relevant product inventory and using ThirstyAffiliates to automatically link keywords on my site to relevant offers.

Going With eBay

For now, eBay is the quickest option to get monetization up and running.

There’s even a plugin to create eBay product feeds like this:

ebay product feed example

Getting Images

A product feed with images like this is an easy, compliant way to get imagery on your site.

Unless you’re an affiliate for a company and they let you reuse images, you’re going to need a license.

I’ve even read through eBay’s terms of service, and they don’t want you using images from their listings.

Stock photo services like DepositPhotos might work, but it’s not going to have a ton of antiques’ pictures.

Another workaround is using Instagram embeds like this one:

Display Ads

I wouldn’t worry about ad networks until I have some meaningful traffic. Maybe I’d apply to AdSense, Ezoic, or Monumetric when I’m averaging 200 visitors a day.

Keep in mind that unless you have meaningful traffic, you’re not going to be making much money from ads, so it’s not even worth the user experience aggravation to run them.

My ultimate goal would be to get the site into Mediavine or AdThrive- so you’re going to need to average at least 50,000 uniques a month before they’ll even consider your application.

The Content

To the heart of the matter- what type of content should you create?

If you’re an affiliate, you’re going to be creating informational content.

That is to say, you’re not going to build an eCommerce store and ship Cocobolo desks from your studio apartment.

Yes, you can create a fake eCommerce storefront by importing product listings with lots of duplicate content, but I’ve written enough about scraper sites for a lifetime.

I’m more interested in the whitehat approach here.

Check out the SERPs for “cocobolo desk” and you’ll see a mixture of informational and eCommerce content:

cocobolo desk serp

I’d poke around the SERPs of the different search terms and see what types of informational content ranks.

You can even use SurferSEO to help ensure your on-page content is perfectly optimized for Google.

Maybe you create listicles– i.e. the ’10 most stunning cocobolo desks’ and use Instagram embeds for the imagery.

Maybe you write up a Wikipedia style article discussing the history of this style of desk.

You’ll need to experiment to see what works.

Instagram listicles will certainly be cheaper- and you can easily outsource it to HireWriters.

Getting Started

Once I have my niche selected, as well as a general content and monetization strategy,  I’d choose some of the lower difficulty keywords from my research (think KD < 5) and begin churning out content.

Keep in mind, you don’t need all your affiliate links set up and running from day one.

You’re likely not getting meaningful traffic for a while, so maybe add an eBay call to action for each of your posts to get started, affiliate-linking to the search path for the antique.

Pinterest

This is a great niche for Pinterest- it’s a good idea to get an account up and running as soon as possible.

I’d begin creating Pinterest Boards and filling them up with relevant pins using the Tailwind Chrome extension.

Eventually, as you get more content on your site, you’ll be able to have a Board for every keyword post on your site, like “cocobolo desks”.

I’m not a Pinterest expert. There’s a ton of free information out there about Pinterest strategy- read up on it because if you’re in this niche, there’s tons of traffic to be had.

If you need inspiration, check out what 1stdibs is doing on Pinterest- they have over 10 million monthly viewers:

1stdibs pinterest

YouTube

I’d also experiment pushing traffic to the site from YouTube or maybe even generating affiliate sales directly from the channel.

You can easily churn out tons of slideshow videos using a tool like Animoto:

This video has over 2 million views at the time of this writing! And it’s basically a narrated slideshow.

Backlinks

If you have the money to invest, I’d recommend using a service like Fat Joe or Authority.Builders (read my Authority.Builders review here).

You can also do your own guest post outreach- there are a million guides out there on how to do it.

But it’s a tedious and expensive task that often requires bribing webmasters with money.

Maybe once your site has 15 quality posts, hit it with 5 links from FatJoe and 5 links from Authority.Builders and track how your rankings improve.

You can also use my Backlink Breakthrough methodology to acquire high-powered backlinks for little or no money.

What I Like

  • Fun niche
  • Lots of low competition keywords
  • Great for immediate and long-lasting Pinterest traffic
  • Interesting potential for high-ticket affiliate opportunities
  • Good for ad revenue

What I Don’t Like

  • Generally, I’d expect low affiliate conversion %’s on antiques. It’s not like converting people on Amazon commodities like power washers and Bluetooth speakers
  • Very image-based content. I prefer being completely above board with images- so I’d use Instagram embeds, but they can go offline. I wouldn’t expect any legal issues if you used an image from an eBay auction, for example, but it’s clearly against their T.O.S.

Summing Up

There’s definitely a lot of low-competition, high-traffic opportunities here. Conversion percentages might not be great, especially for the really expensive furniture.

But you can supplement with ad revenue. Lots of people enjoy just looking at the furniture and reading about its history.

It also has a ton of Pinterest potential. Which is great because SEO takes forever. With Pinterest in particular, you can get traffic to your site from Day 1.

5 YouTube Description Templates From Viral Video Marketers [Copy & Paste]

youtube logo

In this post, I examine 5 YouTube video description templates from successful YouTubers, including some copy and paste templates.

As I’ve grown a modest YouTube channel, I’ve learned to pay attention to the YouTube video description section.

If you’re trying to push traffic from YouTube to your website, as I am, you’ll want to optimize how you format the description. It’s important to format the description so that engages your viewers, but you also want to include text that helps YouTube understand the content of the video.

Hire A Cheap Description Writer

If you’re having trouble come up with creative YouTube descriptions, consider hiring a professional YouTube description writer.

There’s a bunch of quality options on Fiverr as you can see below- just go to Fiverr, type in “YouTube description” and hire a writer:

Fiverr youtube description job

Template Inspiration

If you want some YouTube channel description template inspiration, check out this list of the top 100 YouTubers from SocialBlade.

It’s a great place to swipe the best description templates from the most successful creators.

The Top 100 YouTubers

top 100 youtubers

YouTube’s Description Recommendations

It also makes sense to review YouTube’s own creator recommendations if you want to craft awesome descriptions:

Common Description Features

The predominant YouTube description features I’ve seen are longform text {text}, Calls To Action {CTA} and ‘Follow Me lists’, Icons & Emojis, and even hashtags.

I’ve provided some examples below from Jake Paul’s and WWE’s channel:

Calls To Action (CTA):

GET MY NEW MERCH HERE BEFORE IT SELLS OUT ►https://fanjoy.co/collections/jake-paul

Follow Me Lists:

(Example #1)

*FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA! *MY INSTAGRAM (@JakePaul) ► https://www.instagram.com/JakePaul MY TWITTER (@JakePaul) ► http://twitter.com/JakePaul MY FACEBOOK ► https://www.facebook.com/JakePaul MY SNAPCHAT ► JakePaul19 MY MUSICAL.LY ► @JakePaul

(Example #2)

*FOLLOW TEAM 10! *Twitter ➝ http://twitter.com/Team10official Instagram ➝ http://instagram.com/Team10official Facebook ➝ http://instagram.com/Team10official Snapchat ➝ Team10SnapsMusical.ly ➝ @Team10officialWant to text us? ➝ 1-323-909-4406

Icons & Emojis

► and 😃

Hashtags

#WWE

Some Notes

Using Symbols & Emojis

You can come up with your innovative formatting using symbols from a site like this. Or grab emojis for YouTube here.

Inserting Links

Here’s how to put links in the YouTube video description- if you paste in https:// links, it should be clickable.

Default Upload Settings

You can even enable default upload settings within YouTube (here’s how). That way, the template will be uploaded with each video. If you want to add credits, according to this Google support document, you’ll need at least 5,000 subscribers.

Channel Descriptions

Remember, there’s also YouTube Channel Descriptions- here’s some considerations when it comes to crafting those.

The YouTube Description Samples

I thought it would make sense to examine how some of the best YouTubers and some of the top YouTube growth hackers format and generate good YouTube descriptions. First up, let’s take a look at how Brian Dean does it.

If you’re unfamiliar with Brian Dean, he’s an internet marketer famous for his Backlinko website.

He’s recently made a big push on YouTube and frequently analyzes how to rank videos for big search terms.

Logically, he’s probably at the forefront of meta description best practices.

1. Brian Dean (Backlinko) YouTube Descriptions

As you can see below, Brian Dean seems to favor a longform, ‘essay’ style YouTube description in the box below the video.

The only call to action (CTA) is at the bottom of his miniature essay:

“SUBSCRIBE to get higher rankings and more traffic! {URL}”

The Brian Dean Template

{Text}{CTA}{URL}

Follow me on Twitter!{URL}

What I Like

The longform description reads really natural.

And when you preview the description snippet in YouTube search, it entices you to click through.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see Brian Dean’s meta snippet at the top.

Compare it with the second description I highlighted.

The second video has a CTA right at the top.

This probably increases the YouTuber’s CTA clicks, but might decrease actual click throughs to the video itself since the description in this YouTube SERP (Search Engine Results Page) doesn’t say what the video is about.

youtube description template

2. Think Media YouTube Descriptions

I came across Think Media’s channel when searching for YouTube growth hackers.

Check out their template below:

The Think Media Template

{YouTube Video Title}  ****{Call To Action}****: {URL}

*** {Show Notes and Resources} *** 1. {2nd Call To Action}: {URL}2. {3rd Call To Action}: {URL}

{SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM} — {why you should follow on social media}

{URL}

{QUESTION — Have a question about…Post in comments section of this video!}Subscribe to {YouTube Channel name} Here: ​

{URL}{Name/Brand on Social Media:}{URL}{URL}{URL}{URL}{URL}———{Additional Information} ——-

What I Like

I like how Think Media numbers their content in the box- it directs YouTube viewers what to do.

There’s a comment template you can grab here, too- it leads off with “Have a question about…”.

This is a great way to increase engagement on a video- helping you to rank higher in the video SERPs.

You can also see that the channel’s About This Video section is an SEO-heavy chunk of text.

This is designed to capture tons of long-tail keywords for YouTube SEO.

3. Pewdiepie YouTube Descriptions

The king of YouTube, at the time of this writing, he has over 60 million subscribers.

So it makes sense to see how this insanely successful YouTuber generates his descriptions.

The Pewdiepie Template

{Call To Action}: {URL} {Emoji}{Call To Action}: {URL} {Emoji}{Call To Action}: {URL}__{CALL TO ACTION}: {URL}__:::::::{TEXT}:::::::: (Affiliate links){Call To Action}:: {Text}{Call To Action}: {URL}{Call To Action}: {URL}{Call To Action}: {URL}Call To Action}: {URL}__:::::::Call To Action}: ::::::::{URL}({TEXT})

What I Like

Pewdiepie uses some cool formatting. It includes a ton of Calls To Action in the meta description- including an affiliate links section.

I like the formatting- using emojis and breaking up the CTAs into different categories with hyphens, colons and different capitalizations makes the content readable and scannable.

4. WWE YouTube Descriptions

World Wrestling Entertainment owns another massive YouTube channel.

Love it or hate it, the WWE are brilliant media marketers- so let’s take a look at how they formatted descriptions in one of their recent video uploads:

The WWE Template

{Text}

{#hashtag} {#hashtag}———————————————————————{CALL TO ACTION}!———————————————————————Subscribe to {Brand Name} on YouTube: {URL}Check out {Brand Name} for news and updates: {URL}———————————————Check out {Brand Name} other channels!———————————————{Text}: {URL}{Text}: {URL}{Text}: {URL}{Text}: {URL}————————————{Brand Name} on Social Media————————————Twitter: {URL}Facebook: {URL}Instagram: {URL}Reddit: {URL}Giphy: {URL}

What I Like

The WWE video description is neatly organized.

It has a highly scannable format- really simple to understand the different CTA groupings.

They also make use of hashtags. Honestly- I didn’t even know YouTube had hashtags until I saw them in this video.

5. Jake Paul YouTube Descriptions

Jake Paul is one of YouTube’s viral stars for his ‘outrageous’ antics.

Personally, I don’t participate in the ‘outrage’ culture.

If anything, I respect his masterful ability to market his brand and its content. Let’s see how he formats his description:

The Jake Paul Template

{TEXT}{emoji} SUBSCRIBE ►{URL} | ★ {CTA} ►{URL}

{CTA} ►{URL}{CTA} ► {URL}

{CTA} ►{URL}{CTA} ► {URL}*FOLLOW {BRAND NAME} ON SOCIAL MEDIA! *MY INSTAGRAM (@) ► {URL}MY TWITTER (@) ► {URL}MY FACEBOOK ► {URL}MY SNAPCHAT ► {text}MY MUSICAL.LY ► @{text}*FOLLOW {OTHER BRAND NAME} *Twitter ➝ {URL}Instagram ➝ {URL}Facebook ➝ {URL}Snapchat ➝ {text}Musical.ly ➝ @{text}Want to text us? ➝ {Phone Number}{CTA} ► {URL}{TEXT}!!

What I Like

The description here seems to jibe with Paul’s playful, snarky personality.

The CTA text reads like how he would speak it.

For example, things like “CYA TOMORROW!!”

I think that’s another underappreciated aspect of these descriptions- try writing as you speak. This sort of consistency will help you market and grow your channel and increase your CTA clickthroughs.

Growing Your Channel

If you’re looking to grow your YouTube channel, there are some inexpensive masterclasses available on Udemy:

Udemy is a great place to start- they offer cheap, high-quality YouTube growth tutorials if you’re serious about 10x-ing your channel’s subscriber count.

Final Thoughts

If you’re trying to figure out what to put in a YouTube description, it makes sense to examine how the top vloggers are doing it.

You can find templates for gamers, detailed copyright notices, outro and intro credits, especially if you use SocialBlade and sort it by categories.

There are even description generators- but I think it’s better to craft your own swipe file, store it somewhere accessible, and just reuse it, tweaking and improving it over time.

Remember, you want to strike a balance between user engagement and YouTube SEO.

Think Media has a good balance- piling in a ton of long-tail keywords into the bottom of his video. But above that, he’s got a nicely formatted series of CTA links.

How To Create A Video Aggregator Site

Play button made of pizza cut on red tray

In the early days of my internet marketing career, I was obsessed with automation.

I bought all the gray-hat, automation software that eventually got my sites deindexed from Google in the Fall of 2016.

I would use Kontent Machine + The Best Spinner to scrape Amazon products, publishing hundreds of pages in a single afternoon.

I was in the seat cushion niche (don’t laugh, there are incredibly expensive seat cushions out there) and the TENs device niche.

It didn’t end well…

Still, I remain more than ‘curious’ about automating rankings and traffic. Although nowadays I have too much to lose- I’m not risking my affiliate/advertising empire to experiment with gray hat IFTTT (if this then that) recipes.

But if you’re interested, I’m going to take a look at a couple of video curation sites to see how they’re scraping and ranking video content.

Disclaimer: I don’t recommend building scraper sites.

How They Make Money

Generally, these types of sites run display ads to monetize.

Difference Between Scraping & Curating

A pure scraper site merely republishes content from a third-party source. Whether they are pulling videos from YouTube or extracting blog posts from an RSS feed, there’s little to no added value. I’ve done a case study on Instagram scraper sites– this is a perfect example of what I mean.

A curation site involves more handiwork. Perhaps it collects a daily digest of niche-specific videos (funny, DIY, health, etc.) and adds value by categorizing them in interesting ways or providing value-add writeups.

The DrudgeReport is an excellent example of a curation site in the politics niche. Matt Drudge aggregates interesting news articles on a variety of different topics. Its value is unearthing a range of continually refreshed, interesting, topical articles.

Obviously, there’s a lot more work involved managing a site like that- but it’s a pittance when you consider its outsized traffic: over 85 million visits in March of 2020 (Source).

How To Create An Automated Video Blog

There’s a couple of ways you can do this- some free and some paid.

For Free

One free way is to use IFTTT.

IFTTT connects different services- and if you search for “WordPress YouTube” connections, you can see that there are two available Recipes:

youtube aggregator site

I’ve used IFTT extensively.

It’s worked well for simple tasks like auto-posting from Twitter to Facebook or publishing from WordPress to Blogger, but in my experience when the task becomes more advanced, nuanced and obscure, its capabilities diminish.

If you’re creating a video aggregation site, you’re going to want to have robust capabilities- the ability to target what you want to import and manage the (thousands) of video posts you create.

Premium Options

That’s why I’d recommend using premium software if you’re at all serious about building a video curation site.

One option is WordPress Video Robot. You can see a list of its features here:

WordPress Video Robot

Once a video is imported, the URL and the H1 (Post title) will contain the video title’s keywords, either whole or in part.

And that’s the ranking formula: If you scrape enough, you’ll end up publishing keyword content that’s so obscure and random that no one else in their right mind is targeting- so you’ll rank.

WordPress Video Robot Overview

The Double-Edged Sword

The benefits of automation are obvious.

You can quickly scrape thousands of videos and in no time rank for tens, or hundreds of thousands of keywords.

Well- yes and no.

I’ve definitely seen sites get away with doing this- but my feeling is that they are the exception that proves the rule.

There will always be the specter of a Google penalty. Some people are fine with that, cashing in on fast, duplicate-content keyword rankings, accepting the inevitable penalty.

One overlooked downside- if you’re monetizing with display ads, Google’s AdSense is much more difficult to get into nowadays. They will not (usually) run ads on a scraper site.

The Detriment Of Short-Form Content

Plus, video curation sites are very ‘short-form’. That is to say, the posts are oftentimes very short, usually just a video and some jumbled, scraped meta-information. That limits the number of ads that can appear on the page:

display adsense example

It’s an inherent downside to short-form, scraper sites.

It might make sense to plan on an aggregation niche that has a logical Clickbank offer.

If I weren’t so risk-averse, I’d check out Clickbank’s top Gravity products and brainstorm opportunities:

best clickbank niches

You could use a free plugin like Ad Inserter to splash affiliate offers across the thousands of scraped video posts.

Whether that’s woodworking or fat burning- it might earn better than display ads, especially if you can’t get into AdSense.

Here’s a mockup to stoke your imagination- scraping DIY videos with a Ted’s Woodworking banner slapped across the bottom of the page:

ted woodworking mockup

It’d be pretty easy to do something like this using the Newspaper Magazine theme. The thumbnails can be set as videos, which makes it easy to convert the site to total video aggregation.

Some Site Examples

1. GameVideos.tv

curation site example-min

This site is a ‘pure scraper’. A “site:https://gamevideos.tv” search shows nearly 90,000 indexed pages.

It’s not making any pretense about it- they’re scraping YouTube for videos and meta content and publishing them as individual posts. They’re also grabbing the channel art for thumbnails.

It’s currently listed on Flippa, so we can get some detailed insights into its true earnings/traffic.

One indication of a scraper site is a low DR with huge keyword rankings:

scraper site example

A DR 3.5 with 60k organic keyword rankings- yeah, that’s fairly unusual.

The site also absorbed some sort of penalty beginning in May 2019 when they crested over 300k keywords:

scraper keywords site

The above graph illustrates a scraper site’s huge keyword surge and eventual downfall.

But it’s not completely down and out- according to their Flippa reporting, these are their traffic stats, which apparently net the site owner an average $50/month from ” on average $50 across AdSales, AdSense & Amazon and other affiliate partners.”

aggregator site stats

Eventually, it catches up with you. Though there are many site examples that defy this pattern.

This site focuses on video games- a pretty good niche for affiliate income. Though, personally, I wouldn’t jeopardize my Amazon Associates account pushing traffic from a site like this.

GameVideos Keywords

I extracted some of their top keywords- you can see that the majority of them are DR 0. No one is competing for these weird, random keywords.

Their top ranking page is this one, ranking for the term “death by snu snu Skyrim”:

content aggregator site

Some Thoughts

If I were running this site, and presuming their traffic decline was some sort of thin-content penalty, I would have beefed up each video post with 300-500 words. But with 90,000 indexed pages, that’s really not possible.

I’d also configure ThirstyAffiliates to auto-link certain keywords- so if I’m importing 100 Xbox video game reviews, I’d be sure that each instance of “Xbox”, each video game title, etc., is linked to an affiliate offer using ThirstyAffiliates.

One note: since ThirstyAffiliates cloaks its links, you can’t use it with Amazon.

You can try a different auto-linking plugin like this one if you’re trying to link to Amazon.

Or maybe I would use Ad Inserter to display an AAWP shortcode on the page for the primary product- whether that’s a video game or a console.

All in all, scraping this much content runs many risks but also can promise some exhilarating highs.

2. MartialArtsVideos.com

martial arts website

This site is a video curator, with a “site:https://MartialArtsVideos.com” search showing just 269 indexed pages.

Not a ton of content or rankings, but it’s a good example of how you can curate video content, without scraping it.

You can see a snapshot of their rankings:

Organic keywords for www martialartsvideos com

It’s currently listed on Flippa with an average of $295 AdSense earnings per month for the last 6 months:

martial arts website profit

MartialArtsVideos Keywords

Here’s the site’s top 1,000 ranking keywords. You can see a familiar pattern of low volume/low difficulty rankings.

Typically, sites that have been SEO’d, you can see them targeting and ranking (maybe not on the first page) for large-volume keywords.

Some Thoughts

In some respects, just eyeballing the post topics, the site is configured more for viral, social media traffic.

Indeed, reading the auction listing, the site has 60,000+ Facebook fans, but it looks like the page has been dormant for half a decade.

I’d have SEO’d the posts a bit more- targeted more search keywords and done a bit more link building.

At this point the site itself has been pretty neglected- a lot of the posts are from 2013, videos are broken, etc.

It’s one of those viral Facebook sites that incidentally ended up ranking for a decent amount of keywords.

3. Wimp.com

Wimp com - Amazing Videos Funny Clips

This site is a video curator, with a “site:https://wimp.com” search showing 27,000 indexed pages. The content appears scraped because it’s very short-form, but it is curated, with a lot of user-generated content that’s organized by date.

Plus, it looks like the videos have unique, rewritten titles. For example, this page, entitled “Dog and bunny make pretty cute cuddle buddies” is hosting a video entitled “Adorable Dog And Bunny Are Best Friends”.

There’s a lot of added SEO value to these unique titles- plus it probably helps Click Through Rate on the site to rewrite video titles more compellingly.

You can see that in its heyday it was ranking for over 500,000 keywords. It’s trailed off substantially over the years, but still has some solid keyword rankings and U.S. traffic:

building an automated video site

This is one of those old-school, blog curator projects. Sort of like Fark.com, an old-world, internet staple.

It has a huge social presence- with over 3 million Facebook Page Likes.

You can see that they get a ton of branded search, with “wimp” getting 28,000 searches a month:

the wimp

You can also see some of the random keywords it ranks for. A typical landing page looks like this with several immediately visible ad units on Desktop:

teasing asiatic lion

Digging into the site with SimilarWeb, you can see that the majority of their traffic comes from Direct sessions.

That’s people typing it directly into their browsers. Interestingly, Search traffic is only their third biggest traffic source after Social. It aligns with the Branded Search numbers we saw in Ahrefs:

Wimp com Analytics - Market Share Stats Traffic Ranking (1)

In terms of actual traffic, you can see that SimilarWeb estimates 1.61 million visits in March 2020 with an incredibly high 5 pages per visit:

Wimp com Analytics - Market Share Stats Traffic Ranking (1)

Wimp Keywords

Here’s a look at their keyword rankings. Different from the GameVideos site, you can see that the keyword topics are a bit more diffuse, ranging from “when dogs get pranked” to “gun camera footage”.

Some Thoughts

It’s a pretty great site. It would take day-to-day work to keep running though. If you get slipshod and begin missing a day publishing one of these video lists, the Direct traffic is going to slowly die off.

And you can’t messily scrape content because it would disappoint users who enjoy the thought that’s gone into curating these miniature video lists.

If I owned it, I’d experiment with Surfer SEO a bit, targeting certain large-volume keywords and producing content in line with Surfer’s correlational analysis.

The site is so old and established it could probably rank overnight for a lot of big terms if the on-page SEO was on point. Plus, the long-form content would enable more ads to show.

I would also consider adding writeups to some of the videos. Depending on how much traffic each video is getting, adding a couple hundred words of text could help to serve more ads.

Summing Up

I think there’s a lot of opportunities here- if I were doing a site like this, I’d probably combine the best of Wimp & MartialArtsVideos.

That is to say, build up a viral, Direct-traffic type site like Wimp, a niche destination site, but combine it also with longform content. If I were to do YouTube scraping, maybe I’d experiment with aggregating certain videos into a large Category page with a lot of text content.

For example, say I wanted to target the keyword “funny Minecraft”, you could configure the scraping tool to scrape videos matching that term, with a certain popularity (500,000+ views), and have them publish to one big Category page.

That’s one way you could automate scraping, add value, and prevent the site from becoming a bloated behemoth that Google deindexes for spam.

The Drug Addiction Niche

addiction niche

In this premium niche report, I discuss the 'drug treatment' niche.

I examine the SEO opportunity, site structure considerations, how to get backlinks, content strategy and its sizable monetization opportunities.

Aaccording to Addiction Center, "some inpatient rehabs may cost around $6,000 for a 30-day program. Well-known centers often cost up to $20,000 for a 30-day program. For those requiring 60- or 90-day programs, the total average of costs could range anywhere from $12,000 to $60,000."

What's Inside

Detailed Keyword Research

I use Ahrefs to dissect some truly stunning keyword data.

I break down the different drugs and rehab treatment keywords that you should rank for to push qualified traffic to different treatment offers. 

The addiction and drug rehab niche is big business.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency estimates that over 23 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and other drugs.

The Addiction Niche

Addiction Niche

In this premium niche report, I discuss the ‘drug treatment’ niche. I examine the SEO opportunity, site structure considerations, how to get backlinks, content strategy and monetization opportunities.

Site Structure & Content Strategy

I'll provide a sample site structure- demonstrating how I would approach building a site in this niche.

I also discuss how I would approach creating content that ranks in Google Search- and how I would approach creating content across social channels.

Monetization

I discuss how I would consider monetizing this niche. It's not as cut and dry as just linking to an Amazon product and calling it a day.

There's a bit more involved when it comes to profiting from this niche. Display Ads are the easy part. And there are truly insane Cost Per Click numbers in this niche.

But on the affiliate site of things, I look at Pay Per Call and how one site is profiting from listing local treatment centers.

I examine how some of these sites are making money in this niche- it's the best way to reverse engineer success.

How To Start A Profitable Local News Website

starting local news site

I was recently reading a Guardian news article bemoaning the death of local journalism:

Small-town Alaskan newspaper seeks new owner. Price: $0

It’s a now-familiar trope: local news is unsustainably unprofitable.

It made me think. Is it really?

I don’t think it has to be.

The problem with a lot of these local news agencies is their large overhead costs overwhelm their often limited and unimaginative monetization.

All of the sites I own prioritize profitability first.

In this post, I’ll show you how I’d approach creating a profitable, local news site with small overhead and focused monetization.

Also Read: Creating A Local Event Site

I’ve also written about starting a local event site- that’s another fun take on creating a local website:

People on conference

How To Create A Local Event Site For Passive Profit

This next niche idea can be a really fun and lucrative one especially if you live in a big city. The idea here is to create a local event site​ with a focused specialty or theme (music, tech, luxury, etc.) and monetize with sponsored content. This post will examine the opportunity and discuss how best to approach […]

2 comments

My Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights

I’m going to use my neighborhood, Brooklyn Heights, as an example.

For context, here’s a map of Brooklyn neighborhoods- you can see Brooklyn Heights, indicated by the black arrow, is one of the smallest neighborhoods in all of Brooklyn, with just over 20,000 residents (Source).

brooklyn heights map

Here’s a view of the neighborhood from my apartment:

brooklyn heights view

A Neighborhood Walkthrough

A Local Blog Example

I’ll use the BrooklynHeightsBlog throughout this case study as a reference point:

bk heights blog stats

Suffice it to say, despite a DR 50 score, as of 12/19, it’s leaving a lot of organic keywords on the table because of permalink and site structure issues- but I digress…

I highlighted some interesting features:

Brooklyn Heights Blog Dispatches from America s first suburb

  1. They’re using the Amazon Associates affiliate program as a ‘support’ option
  2. They solicit news tips- a good way to generate content ideas
  3. They have a newsletter- a pretty ubiquitous blogging strategy
  4. They’re monetizing with display ads
  5. Social follow icons help diversify traffic- though we’ll see deeper in this case study that they’re not getting much social traffic
  6. They solicit advertisements/sponsorships- another monetization strategy for a local blog
  7. The ‘nabe chatter’ section highlights blog comments- a good way to build up community

Considerations

I’m going to analyze how I’d approach starting a local news site below- highlighting important considerations:

Market size

You’ll want to make sure the ‘local’ traffic opportunity is big enough to justify targeting. One way to figure it out- I’d use Ahrefs to analyze search term volume. The best way to do this is to find local blogs and see what keywords they already rank for.

Keep in mind- a local blog like this will get a lot of direct traffic from regular neighborhood readers, so organic traffic isn’t going to be your only traffic source.

Keyword Research

I analyzed the BrooklynHeightsBlog using Ahrefs to see what keywords they rank for:

You can see some interesting keyword themes here:

  1. Food queries like “sushi brooklyn heights”, “chip shop brooklyn”, and “friend of a farmer brooklyn”
  2. Service queries like “nail salon brooklyn heights” and “brooklyn heights vet”
  3. Event queries like “brooklyn heights events”, “brooklyn heights halloween”, “brooklyn heights fireworks”
  4. Destination queries like “bossert hotel”, “housing works montague”, and “roebling inn brooklyn”

Keyword research will reveal a lot of interesting data- helping you to figure out interesting topics you can create content for and whether a local area like Brooklyn Heights has enough search traffic.

You can see that the primary term “Brooklyn Heights” gets 20,000 searches a month, which is strong- and there’s a lot of long-tail traffic.

The BrooklynHeightsBlog, for example, evidently realized that it makes sense to cash in on traffic opportunities from neighboring communities like Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Cobble Hill:

brooklyn heights blog

I bet if they could do it over, they’d choose a different domain name.

They could have branded themselves something like “brooklynblog” and silo’d different neighborhood content on the site. They might have lost some of their ‘hyper-locality’ but gained valuable search real estate for nearby neighborhoods.

It’s really a judgment call- I’d advise choosing a domain name that gives you some flexibility to expand as needed, rather than locking yourself into one neighborhood.

Traffic sources

One advantage of creating a hyper-local news site is that it should be easy to get email newsletter signups and legitimate direct traffic.

People should be pretty eager to sign up for a local news site because of its tremendous relevance. They’ll also type your site directly into their browser to get up-to-date news on their community.

According to SimilarWeb, the BrooklynHeightsBlog gets the majority of its visitors from Direct traffic:

Brooklynheightsblog com Analytics - Market Share Stats Traffic Ranking

Traffic Ideas

  1. A YouTube channel dedicated to the neighborhood- just create a walking tour of your neighborhood, or maybe video reviews of local restaurants, etc.
  2. Pay micro-Instagram influencers, i.e. neighborhood social media ‘stars’, to shout-out the blog
  3. Own your neighborhood hashtag on Instagram and Twitter- you can use MissingLettr to automate a lot of social content
  4. SEO low competition terms- you can see a ton of them in the keyword research table near the top of this post
  5. Create a local Meetup group to discuss neighborhood affairs
  6. Post in Nextdoor- naturally include links to your content
  7. Register with Help A Reporter Out and become a local area resource
  8. Network at local events and practice word-of-mouth marketing- you never know who you’ll meet at these events and how they can increase site awareness
  9. Interview local dignitaries- maybe they’re local politicians and get them to reshare the content to their audience

Content ideas

Nextdoor

If you live in the neighborhood, you can register with Nextdoor.

Nextdoor is a hyper-local, community forum. In Brooklyn Heights, there’s a lot of engagement- with people discussing anything from lost cats to stolen Amazon packages.

These are easy topics to pick through to create content.

Below is a sample screenshot from my own Brooklyn Heights Nextdoor feed- it includes “peanut problem in parks” (a fun, easy topic idea) and the frequently recurring search for a quality cleaning person:

brooklyn heights nextdoor

Local Forums

You can also unearth plenty of local forums Googling around and peruse them for interesting topic ideas.

Google Alerts

I’d also create a Google Alert for various neighborhood terms so you’re quickly notified when your neighborhood is mentioned.

This way, you’ll be quick on the draw when your neighborhood is in the news and you can capitalize on trending topics.

Subscribe To Other Blogs

Subscribe to other local area blogs- this way you can see what topics they’re covering and the sort of offers they’re marketing to their readers.

Content types

Not Doing SEO

As I’ve touched on a bit, another fun thing about a site like this- you don’t need to ‘SEO’ everything.

Since you’ll be courting direct and email traffic, you can write a 150-word post on a lost cat getting reunited with its owner, with some fun, credited images, for example.

This will help keep the site fresh with content- you want to satisfy your direct traffic!

Doing SEO

The way I’d approach it, I would divide content types up- figure out what you want to ‘SEO’ and what sort of content you want to write for other traffic sources (direct/social).

For example, in Brooklyn Heights, there’s a huge construction controversy about the Brooklyn Promenade:

heights promenade (Large)

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade, also called the Esplanade, is a 1,826-foot-long platform and pedestrian walkway cantilevered over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

It’s one of the preeminent tourist destinations in the city and there’s been a huge controversy regarding its planned closure and potential ‘reformulation’.

In a nutshell, the promenade and the highway beneath it have been neglected for a very long time and repair proposals would have a drastic, negative effect on the neighborhood, with one plan essentially installing a major highway in the heart of the neighborhood.

As you can imagine, there’s a ton of local interest in this topic.

This is an example of a topic I would ‘SEO’.

I’d create a single post optimizing for this keyword and keep it up to date with trending developments.

You can promote this content over and over again on social media and doubtless get a lot of referral traffic and links from sources like Nextdoor and news aggregator sites.

To summarize, I’d figure out the different types of content I want to produce- news items, restaurant and store reviews, real estate. There are a lot of different topic areas to explore- each might require different writing and research requirements.

You can source these ideas from forums, keyword research- or just walking around your neighborhood, noticing that a new nail salon opened.

Outsourcing

If I were doing it, I’d create a standard operating procedure for transforming posts on Nextdoor into fun news items on the site.

Here’s a post about “peanut problems in parks”:

Peanut problem in parks — Nextdoor

A writer could easily summarize some of the comments in the thread to generate content. You could even reach out to Nextdoor users for quotes and take some pictures of the park with your smartphone for unique images.

This post could be 300-500 words and be a fun news item to keep the site fresh and the direct traffic returning. Remember- a news site that goes stagnant will quickly lose its direct traffic readership!

You could use HireWriters or someone from UpWork to quickly create this content.

Choosing a theme

The Newspaper theme is one of my favorite WordPress themes. I like how easy it is to create gorgeous homepage layouts like this:

local news wordpress theme

They also have a ton of post formats to make your content effortlessly pop. A magazine-style theme, in general, is the sort of layout style you’d want for a news site to encourage readers to click multiple pages per session, across common interest areas.

Monetization

Display Ads

AdSense, Ezoic or Mediavine are great display-advertising options.

That said, I wouldn’t run ads until I’m getting ~250 sessions a day.

Since ad rates typically are calculated on a per 1,000 session model- if you’re managing a $10 CPM, for example, you’ll need some decent traffic before you see solid ad revenue.

Affiliate/Lead Gen

You can try to monetize some of these local search terms utilizing an affiliate program like HomeAdvisor’s.

According to their affiliate page, “HomeAdvisor’s industry-leading partner program offers aggressive payouts for qualified leads or calls.”

Look at how some of the big players monetize local service queries- Reviews.com has a pest control landing page that’s top-notch:

The Best Pest Control Services for 2019 Reviews com

I’d definitely ‘SEO’ a term like “brooklyn pest control” and construct a landing page using some of the affiliate programs BestReviews uses like Orkin and Terminix, and even HomeAdvisor.

Another option- Caviar, the food delivery service, has an affiliate program. They write:

“Caviar delivers food from the best restaurants in cities around the country directly to you in the comfort of your home or office, enabled by technology. Browse a picture menu, customize your meal, and get delivery straight to your door. Only restaurants that meet the uncompromising standards of the Caviar tastemakers qualify for Caviar delivery.

Once an order is placed, the customer can track their order with a real-time GPS. Join the Caviar affiliate program and you’ll be promoting delivery for the love of food.”

This type of offer could do well in an email- you can write up a post about local Caviar delivery options and circulate it to your list.

Real Estate

Here’s another big one- real estate affiliate programs.

Realtor.com is currently paying $5 per lead through Viglink and Foreclosure.com is paying 25% commissions:

brooklyn heights foreclosures

You could optimize content for “Brooklyn foreclosures” and even have a dedicated email capture on this page just for people who want foreclosure alerts in Brooklyn and then market foreclosure listings to them via email.

Once your site gets some traction, you can solicit sponsored content- perhaps a local business will pay to post on your site or access your email list.

The Skint is a local event site I’ve written about before- here’s one of the sponsored emails I recently received from them:

skint newsletter

The 92Y apparently paid for access to The Skint’s email list.

If I were creating a local event site, I’d sign up to ALL the local sites and see what they’re promoting.

I’d keep track of these sponsorship opportunities in a spreadsheet and, if I had enough traffic to warrant it, I’d reach out to the 92Y and ask if they’d be interested in sponsoring content or an email broadcast.

Summing Up

If I didn’t have so much on my plate, I’d consider starting a site like this.

To make it work, it’ll need some time and dedication- it’s not worth ‘half-assing’ with low-quality content like your average affiliate site.

The upside here- ideally you’re living in the neighborhood you’re blogging about. You have a tremendous opportunity to create genuine and unique content that a small number of people love.

Does Oranum Have An Affiliate Program?

fortune-telling

oranum affiliate program

Oranum is a live webcam platform that connects users to psychics and spiritual advisors (Source).

Does It Have An Affiliate Program?

Yes, it does.

According to their affiliate page, they offer 2 different, mutually exclusive options.

Either:

  1. a $100 CPA: “after all initial credit purchase which is $19.99 or higher, we will reward you with $100 for life!”
  2. Or you can choose a 50% commission on recurring credit card purchases.

Monetizing It

I’ve written about the psychic niche before- check out my niche report to learn how to monetize it.

Oranum also has a range of different affiliate marketing tools that you can use on your site.

Besides the typical website marketing collateral like link codes and banners, you can also place a live psychic feed, a faux chatbox, and even a free chat object which allows your visitors to share their questions with the psychics without leaving your site.

They say that this dramatically improves conversions because people are immediately intrigued when they spot the live feed video.

Keyword Research

To get a sense of the Oranum affiliate opportunity, I extracted 1,000 of Keen.com’s (a notable competitor’s) top-performing keywords:

You can use this list to brainstorm content ideas- whether you are running a blog or even an Instagram account in the psychic niche.

Link Whisper Review: 2020 Discount

backlink
link whisper review

Link Whisper is running a special discount promotion that ends 5/29/20:

00
Days
12
Hours
45
Minutes
59
Seconds

Internal link building is one of those boring SEO tasks every site builder knows that they should be doing, but frequently neglect.

I've definitely been guilty of that over the years.

There's a bunch of ways to do it, but there's no way around it- it's a boring obligation. 

So, when Spencer Haws from NichePursuits released Link Whisper over a year ago, my ears perked up. 

I bought it immediately. It was the perfect solution I needed at the time- a quick, automatic way to implement internal linking.

So What Does Link Whisper Do?

Link Whisper is a WordPress plugin that lets you quickly create tons of targeted, keyword-rich internal links.

While the primary benefit everyone's looking for is is increased organic search traffic, internal links can improve some other important things as well. 

Things like user experience, session duration, pages per session, email sign-ups, etc.

Generally, user engagement and conversion stats should improve as you invite visitors to delve deeper into your content.

spencer haws link whisper

Spencer Haws, Link Whisper Creator

Proof: Internal Links Matter

But the big, potential win is their SEO benefit.

Ahrefs recently published a case study demonstrating how Ninja Outreach increased search traffic by 40% just through internal linking:

ahrefs internal linking case study


Credit: Ahrefs.com

Ahrefs explains that:

"Internal links also aid the flow of PageRank around your site. That’s a big deal. Generally speaking, the more internal links a page has, the higher it’s PageRank. However, it’s not all about quantity; the quality of the link also plays a vital role."

Besides helping Google discover your content, internal linking confers 'link equity' to your pages, helping them to rank higher in the search engines.

Video Overview: How It Works

play

What I Like

Easy to quickly add automatic internal links

You can see that when you install Link Whisper and navigate to Auto Linking, you'll get a view like this below (click to enlarge):

link whisper auto linking

You can choose a keyword and select what you want it to link to (1 and 2). 

Every time the word "marketing" (3) is mentioned, for example, I'm linking to a post about marketing templates. 

This also works going forward: every time I mention "marketing" in a future post, it will link to that marketing template.

You can also limit the number of times a keyword is linked from a Post. For example, if you mention the word "marketing" 50 times in a single Post, you don't want to link EVERY single time it's mentioned. 

Post specific suggestions

Within every individual Post view, beneath the content editor, you'll get some suggestions for internal links to add from the post: 

linkwhisper auto post linking

In this example Link Whisper is suggesting that the term "home kit" from the post I'm working on link to another post on my website. 

You can even toggle the "Only Show Link Suggestions in the Same Category as This Post" option so that your internal linking is "silo style". 

That is to say, you only link to Posts within a certain Category and not outside of it. 

To be honest, I don't use this feature much. Mainly because I installed Link Whisper on mature websites with lots of content.

This feature is more useful if you're actively publishing and can incorporate the internal linking into your standard publication process.

I find it's easier to use the Auto Linking feature rather than modify hundreds of existing posts one by one.

Plus, I can get more creative with link anchor text using the Auto method than this Post-specific style, which can sometimes lack sufficient link suggestions.

Lifetime links

If you deactivate Link Whisper, the links stay live. 

That's a great feature.

In my case, I have a 3-site license and for smaller sites.

I'll sometimes install it and quickly get 50 internal links created, before deleting the plugin and reactivating it on one of my primary sites.

What I Don't Like

Auto suggestions

Link Whisper's automatic suggestions can be kind of weak.

I don't really use this feature too much. I prefer to define my own anchor text and generate the internal link opportunities that way. 

Sometimes you'll Publish a post that's highly related to other content on your site and Link Whisper will provide somewhat anemic internal link opportunities. 

However, Link Whisper gets a lot of updates, so it's likely that this feature will improve. I purchased it right at the beginning and I've seen its capabilities improve dramatically over the past year and change. 

Not a 'one click' solution

This is good and bad. 

A lot of people might expect a completely turnkey solution. 

This is pretty close to being that. But, really, you do want to spend some time choosing which keywords link where. 

Because it's not just about 'SEO' value.

Say you're selling SEO services, for example.

If you have one page on your site that earns you a ton of money, say a 'contact form', you'd want to prioritize sending traffic to that page rather than linking to some random Post you wrote 4 years ago that earns you nothing.

If this were completely automated, you'd end up randomly linking within your site and sacrifice an important revenue opportunity.

Summing Up

Link Whisper provides a pretty handy solution for a mundane SEO task. 

If you're looking for an actionable quick win to get more search traffic to your site and improve user engagement statistics, it gets my unreserved recommendation.

AAWP Review | The Best Amazon Affiliate Plugin I’ve Used

amazon logo

I've earned millions of dollars from Amazon's affiliate program. 

So I have a lot of experience managing Amazon affiliate links, optimizing for conversions, and maintaining Amazon Associates compliance. 

A couple of years ago I switched to a new affiliate plugin- the AAWP (Amazon Affiliate WordPress Plugin).

I had been using EasyAzon since I started in 2016 and I still have a ton of EasyAzon links on my site. 

At the time, EasyAzon was a fairly sophisticated and useful option. 

It was one of the first affiliate plugins that let you manage international Amazon Associate accounts. 

Nowadays, that's pretty standard- but back in 2016, a lot of Amazon affiliates would either lose out on international commissions or jump through hoops to send traffic to the correct Amazon storefront.

What I Used To Do

When I first started publishing Amazon affiliate content, I'd create tons of comparison tables using TablePress and insert EasyAzon shortcodes into them so that they'd look like this: 

tablepress easyazon shortcodes

The first column contains an EasyAzon image shortcode and the second an EasyAzon link shortcode.

Problems

One recurring problem was that when Amazon products went out of stock, or the product page was deleted, there was no way of knowing.

Plus the product image would disappear- creating an ugly gap on the page or in the table.

So, with hundreds of WordPress posts and tens of thousands of affiliate links, a top page could be hemorrhaging affiliate revenue and you wouldn't even know it. 

Yes, there are some tools now that will scrape your site and let you know which products are out of stock.

But, still, even if you're checking these broken-link reports everyday and making affiliate link fixes, it's a really annoying problem.

The Solution

aawp plugin

With AAWP, the single best feature, at least for how I build affiliate sites, is their "Bestseller Lists". 

With a simple shortcode like:

[amazon bestseller="Electric Hospital Beds" items="3" description_items="1" price="hide"]

I get a list of current bestselling items for that keyword:

aawp shortcode example

(All the AAWP content on this page are screenshots: I don't have the plugin installed on NicheFacts.)

The advantage here is that if a product goes out of stock, it's removed from this list and replaced with a bestseller that is in stock. 

That means, all the products in this bestseller listicle are always in stock. 

As well, it only takes a couple seconds to create. 

(Check out some of AAWP's most popular templates)

Customization

Now, you can do a lot of customization with these listicles. 

I like being able to quickly create them on the fly, but if you want to make them a bit more dazzling, the guys over at AuthorityHacker had their tables coded to look like this:

aawp shortcode customization

I'm still using the out-of-box bestseller lists and they're converting like crazy: 

amazon earnings

It makes content publication a breeze. 

My favorite 1-2 punch is outsourcing content to HireWriters (i.e. 'how to wear a knee brace) and then slapping a "knee brace" best seller list near the top of the page. 

You want these high-converting best seller lists occupying the prime real estate of your page.

Video Overview

The AuthorityHacker guys had their software reviewer put together a handy overview of how to install and use this Amazon affiliate plugin:

Other AAWP Formats

As you can see in the video above, there are a bunch of dynamic AAWP formats you can employ: 

Specific Product Boxes

You can insert a specific product by locating its ASIN number on the product page:

[amazon box="B07XVZD4Z2" template="horizontal"]

AAWP Sample

Grids

You can insert several ASIN numbers to create a custom grid:

[amazon box="B07XVZD4Z2,B07V8P7286,B07V8P7286" grid="3"]

aawp grid shortcode

Tables

A shortcode with just a keyword and a specified item count can produce a quick table:

[amazon bestseller="mainboard" items="3" template="table"]

aawp table shortcode

Buttons

You can create buttons using the ASIN number: 

[amazon fields="ASIN" value="button"]

aawp button shortcode

What I Like

Easy

I like how easy it is to quickly create high-converting, always-in-stock, Amazon bestseller tables. 

Especially with Amazon's recent commission reductions (4/20), it's ultimately cheaper to roll out an AAWP list than have a virtual assistant create a TablePress table with manually inserted affiliate links.

Conversion Optimized

AAWP optimizes their designs for conversion- though you can do your own modifications, AAWP loads fast and looks pretty sleek.

Consistent

There are very few glitches with AAWP. Unlike some other affiliate plugins I've used, I've never had to resort to the AAWP forums to get anything fixed.

Compliant

Of all the Amazon affiliate plugins, the AAWP plugin comes closest to an official Amazon endorsement.

You can see it's listed here as a recommended option. I've also seen a lot of positive anecdotal chatter about its reputation within different Facebook Groups.

What I Don't Like

Wishlist Features

Some small quibbles- it would be cool if there was an AAWP browser extension so you could create AAWP affiliate collateral directly from an Amazon page. 

As it is, you have to plug the ASIN in manually for things like buttons and certain comparison tables.

It would also be interesting to have a 'visual composer' to modify some of the outputs. As is, you can change some things around- button text, button style, etc.

You do need to employ CSS to extensively modify AAWP outputs.

Summing Up

Overall, AAWP has been a fantastic addition to my affiliate tool chest.

It makes it faster and easier to push out high-converting affiliate content while maintaining compliance with the Amazon Associates terms of service.

I am an affiliate for AAWP- so if you purchase it I'll receive a commission at no cost to you.

The Wix Affiliate Program [Good?]

wix affiliate program

Wix is a well-known website builder that, according to Wikipedia,

“was first developed and popularised by the Israeli company also called Wix. It allows users to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites through the use of online drag and drop tools.

Users can add social plug-ins, e-commerce, online marketing, contact forms, e-mail marketing, and community forums to their web sites using a variety of Wix-developed and third-party applications. The Wix website builder is built on a freemium business model, earning its revenues through premium upgrades.”

Commission Structure

According to Wix’s FAQ affiliate page:

“You’ll earn $100 per Premium user* with unlimited payouts. The more sales you refer, the more you get paid. Learn more about our Premium Plans here.

*A Premium user who did not cancel their upgrade before the 14-day trial period.”

Other Website Builder Affiliate Programs

  1. Elementor: 50% commission
  2. Thrive Themes: 35% commission + recurring
  3. Beaver: 25% per sale
  4. Weebly: $25 per sign up
  5. Strikingly: Earn up to $100.80 for every customer
  6. TemplateToaster: 16% per sale
  7. VEVS: Up to $96 per year per sale
  8. Duda: $35-$100 per sale
  9. GoDaddy: 10-15% (they have a website builder)

Keyword Research

I extracted 1,000 of Wix’s top keywords to get a sense of what drives traffic to their site.

Obviously, if you want to make some money promoting this website builder, you’ll want to drive traffic employing some of these keywords on your website or social media channels.

SEO Content

As you can see there are a lot of keywords that contain the word Wix. Sometimes I screen these key words out when I do keyword research, but in this case, probably the most logical content you could create would be for example a block post that demonstrates how to use “Wix templates“, which is a keyword that gets 22,000 searches a month for the keyword difficulty of 13.

If you look at the keyword difficulties in the table above, you’ll see that they are very high because this is a lucrative and competitive landscape. People that build their website using Wix, they’re going to be on the hook for recurring payments and Wix is undoubtedly upselling them once they’ve captured them in their funnel.

Besides straight Wix related searches, you could see that they rank for a variety of other, somewhat unrelated terms like “create a logo free“, create a blog and photography terms. All of these are internet or digital-related queries that are more top of the funnel for Wix, but undoubtedly feed a steady flow of conversions for them.

Another keyword that they rank for is “starting a YouTube channel”. This might seem somewhat unrelated, but anybody that builds a YouTube channel, it makes sense that they also have a website that they can send traffic to.

This is an example of another top of the funnel piece of content that pushes people down the rabbit hole towards purchasing Wix.

If you’re interested in being an affiliate, these different keywords can represent a blog post, a silo of content, or perhaps the theme of an entire website.

There’s definitely a lot of traffic and affiliate commission opportunity and the website builder space, which sits under the broader category of internet marketing.

YouTube Traffic

I would think that a YouTube channel would play a prominent role if you were to enter into this space. Especially if you are brand new, launching a new website, it can take a long time to get organic traffic traction.

With YouTube, YouTube gets a lot more traffic more quickly and particularly in this space, you’ll want to be shooting YouTube videos demonstrating how to use Wix.

For example, check out this Wix YouTube tutorial:

It’s a high-quality video that pushes people to a custom Wix landing page- doubtless, it generates a good deal of commissions for Greg Gottfried.

Summing Up

Internet marketing in general and website builders specifically are extremely competitive niches.

That said, there’s always a way to create content and get traffic.

As I’ve mentioned, the way I would go about it, I would examine the keyword research table and begin producing cross-platform content.

Maybe you start with a YouTube video and convert it into a blog post or do that in reverse and create a blog post with an associated YouTube video.

Over time, as you begin producing more and more of this content, you’ll begin to see incremental traffic growth as well as commissions.

The American Airlines Affiliate Program [Exists?]

american airlines affiliate program

At the time of this writing in 2020, it doesn’t look like American Airlines has an affiliate program.

While Knoji says that there is an American Airlines affiliate program inside VigLink, I can confirm that there isn’t one.

American Airlines Affiliate Program Alternatives

First, some background about American Airlines: “American Airlines, Inc. is a major American airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, within the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. It is the world’s largest airline when measured by fleet size, revenue, scheduled passengers carried, scheduled passenger-kilometers flown, and number of destinations served.” (Source)

Regarding alternatives, check out my Expedia affiliate program review– that’s a solid alternative.

If you’re passionate about travel, check out my Airbnb affiliate program review.

Affilorama has a good list of airline affiliate programs, which include:

  1. British Airways
  2. Qatar Airways
  3. Qantas
  4. Singapore Airlines
  5. Flydubai
  6. Etihad Airways
  7. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Keyword Research

While American Airlines doesn’t currently have an active affiliate program, it’s always informative and interesting to see the keywords that they rank for. Below, I examined their domain and filtered keywords that were below 15 on Ahrefs’ Keyword Difficulty scale.

This provides a pretty long list of low competition keywords that you can target on your website, even using them on social media platforms as topic ideas.

For example, one of the keywords is “main cabin extra“, which apparently refers to a higher-quality American Airlines travel experience including early boarding, extra legroom, free carry-on and more. This could easily become a fun blog post and YouTube video – YouTube is inundated with people sharing their air travel experiences.

In terms of monetizing the content, if you’re running ads on your website, you all cash in on travel display ads. However, you could pretty easily insert affiliate links to other airlines, perhaps analyzing comparable travel experiences between two different airline companies.

Another interesting keyword is “admirals club”. According to the American Airlines website, it’s “Complimentary amenities and services are available to make your travel more productive and relaxing.

Similar to the last keyword, this could be another interesting piece of content for a website or social media account, describing the travel experience using Admirals Club and indulging in the various amenities.

The American Airlines website also ranks for a lot of different location queries including “indianapolis airport“.

This is a whole other category of content. You can see that this keyword has a difficulty of 5, but rest assured they ran them WordPress site isn’t going to overnight rank on the first page of Google for this query.

That said, if I was targeting American Airlines’ keywords, I would experiment with ranking ‘airline location’ content.

You could create a long-form article that comprehensively evaluates the Indianapolis Airport (like this one), providing directions, contact information, parking facilities, location of nearby hotels and restaurants, the list is almost endless.

Doubtless, a lot of websites are already trying to do this, but I would try my hand at producing a lot of long-form content targeting this type of keyword. And it’s quite easy to insert some affiliate links into content like this – maybe even using something like thirsty Affiliates or ad inserter to dynamically insert affiliate content across all of your different posts.

Summing Up

All of that said, travel is a pretty competitive space to be in. If I were going to attempt it, I would try to niche down into something that’s low competition. In addition, I would really want to have some social media influence the push traffic. A lot of people presume that the travel affiliate payouts are going to be generous- but a lot of the flight affiliate programs don’t pay that much.