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How To Start A Coupon / Deals Website Business

how to start a coupon site

Coupon sites are compelling internet businesses.

Why?

For one, there are tons of big, low competition keywords you can rank for.

But, perhaps more importantly, it’s because coupon sites are capturing you at the end of your buyer journey.

You’re on the cusp of purchase, but you’re running one last Google search to see if you can scrape a few bucks off that final sales price.

For affiliate marketers, this is the ideal time to snare your attention and get you to click on an affiliate link.

The SERPs are littered with promo code sites.

coupon site examples (Medium)

There are thousands upon thousands of eCommerce storefronts offering coupon codes, which means there’s a ton of search traffic for related terms.

Sure, nowadays, we have Wikibuy (purchased by CapitalOne) and Honey (purchased by Paypal), both popular promo-code browser extensions, but many people still defer to Google to hunt down discount codes.

And there are many, many sites more than happy to insert an affiliate link in between the buyer and their purchase.

Today I’m going to look at how to create a coupon blog- how I would go about getting and monetizing this lucrative traffic.

Brad’s Deals

One prominent coupon website is Brad’s Deals. Below, you can see some pretty serious stats, as of 12/19.

Including its 635,00 keywords and, just as impressive, it’s getting 96.5% of its traffic from the United States. For sure the most valuable geographic traffic you can get.

It’s rare to see such a high percentage of traffic coming just from the U.S., but Brad’s Deals isn’t profiling European promo codes, only American discounts, it seems- so it makes sense.

brads deals website

This traffic is insanely valuable, to put it bluntly.

Coupon Stats

Coupon usage is massive- check out some of these stats compiled by Wikibuy:

  • 90% of consumers use coupons in some way (Valassis)
  • There will be 1.05 billion digital coupon users by 2019 (Juniper Research)
  • Digital coupon redemptions totaled $47 billion in 2017 (Juniper Research)
  • By 2022, digital coupon redemptions are set to total $91 billion (Juniper Research)
  • Globally, the mobile coupons industry is slated to grow by 56.5% by 2025 (Orian Research)
  • In 2017, consumers saved $3.1 billion with consumer packaged goods (CPG) coupons (NCH Marketing Services)
  • By mid-2018, consumers had achieved 1.4 billion in savings with CPG coupons (NCH Marketing Services)
  • Digital and print coupons are up YoY from 2017 (NCH Marketing Services)
  • Worldwide, 31 billion eCoupons are expected to be redeemed by 2019 (Statista)

Comparing Some Big Players

I extracted some of the top coupon sites by analyzing Brad’s Deals organic competitors.

CouponCabin.com has the best Traffic stats, while Coupons.com owns the most Keywords.

Coupons.com also dwarfs the other sites with over 14 million backlinks.

 Domain RatingTotal BacklinksTotal KeywordsTotal Traffic
https://dealcatcher.com601,414,271388,3691,470,541
https://couponcabin.com672,251,2601,081,9879,368,843
https://couponfollow.com73890,530649,9392,848,898
https://dealsplus.com651,293,212668,7661,751,838
https://givingassistant.org762,809,377828,3426,611,142
https://joinhoney.com74920,804451,8083,451,253
https://savings.com712,302,676334,145886,950
https://couponchief.com661,628,241867,4952,823,503
https://dealnews.com744,902,016829,7391,026,769
https://coupons.com8314,368,9631,160,4764,217,044
https://bradsdeals.com70614,102636,505853,457

How Do Couponing Sites Work?

Theoretically, a ‘good’ coupon site aggregates up-to-date deals and promo codes, helping buyers find merchant discounts.

Very frequently, however, affiliate coupon sites are just trying to get you to click on a fake or expired ‘coupon reveal’ button. They might have some legitimate deals on their site, but it’s difficult to manage hundreds or even thousands of promo codes.

And, once they begin ranking in Google, and pushing lots of traffic to an affiliate offer, there’s not much incentive to delete expired deals or offers that are earning them rankings and money.

What I Would Do

I’d prefer to keep things as white-hat as possible. I’ll show you what I’d do if I was starting a coupon website- including how I’d attempt to manage tricky, time-sensitive coupon deals using ThirstyAffiliates and other third-party services.

Keyword Research

I’d start by doing some keyword research.

Below, I extracted 1,000 of Brad’s Deals top-performing organic keywords.

This popular coupon site has some great rankings and provides an overview of some of the biggest coupon search terms:

Content Planning

You can see a lot of different keyword themes here:

  1. “code”, “deal”, “sale”, and “coupon” keywords
  2. “black friday” keywords
  3. brand name + deal keywords (i.e. “overstock promo code”)

I’d use a Google Sheet and begin mapping out different Categories of content- for example, tech deals like ‘ThinkGeek pomo code’ vs home improvement deals like “Lowe’s black friday”.

I’d sketch out the different deals I’d want to profile, position them beneath relevant Categories, write up 5 of them myself to get a feel for the content, and then create a Standard Operating Procedure for an Upwork or HireWriter author to follow.

Niching down: you might want to niche down into a tech or home & garden coupon site, rather than being a general couponing site. A niche coupon site might have a ranking advantage because of its tighter, thematic focus.

Plus, it’s easier to create contextually relevant blog content if you’re niched down than if you’re a general coupon storefront with a scattershot focus.

Monetization Considerations

Of course, you’ll want to make sure you can actually monetize the keyword you’re creating content for. It makes sense to cross-reference “macys coupon codes” to make sure you can actually get into the Macy’s affiliate program before you create content for it.

Though, it also makes sense to rank for coupon keywords that you can’t directly monetize, just to get the traffic. And then push the traffic to related deals that are monetized.

For example, you can’t get into the Macy’s affiliate program, but you can push traffic from that unmonetized page to a monetized Nordstrom’s page; just run display ads on the content; or get traffic to the page and then see if the company will let you into a private affiliate program.

In addition, how you structure the content and calls to action will depend on the promotional materials available to you. For example, take a look at this RetailMeNot Macy’s coupon page below.

There are 3 separate types of Macy’s offers:

  1. reveals a code upon click and links to a category page with the code applied;
  2. links to a time-sensitive Black Friday deal;
  3. links to a Macy’s credit card offer.

macys coupon codes example

Running Ads

Remember- if you’re getting enough traffic, say at least 500 page views a day, you can make good money running ads on the site. In that case, it might be worth ranking for a coupon keyword you can’t affiliate market and just earn from ads.

In that case, I would write up a page that discusses how to find deals with that specific merchant. With a little research, you can uncover their holiday deals schedule, or even link out to other sites that have access to valid promo codes.

Choose A Coupon Theme

Sometimes it makes sense to purchase a ‘niche’ theme, like a WordPress coupon theme. This style of theme will come preloaded and adapted for an online couponing business.

Coupons Theme WordPress Website Templates

For example, one of the most popular, Couponis, has a pretty attractive live preview that showcases some of its useful features.

This includes a user coupon submission option; coupon timing to create ‘countdowns’; different coupon types like sale/printable/code options; an affiliate import option; a user-voting option to gather ratings thumbs-up-thumbs-down coupon ratings.

affiliate coupon site example

That said, a lot of people prefer to use a popular theme, like GeneratePress or Astra, which will have a more robust development history, and adapt it to their needs.

How To Add The Coupons With Couponis

The video below demonstrates how to set up the Couponis theme- I’ve skipped ahead to the point where the individual coupons are being added:

Automation

There are certainly some automated ways to generate hundreds and even thousands of thin content, coupon deals pages.

I wouldn’t do that when starting out.

Instead, if I was working with a brand new domain, besides targeting particular coupon keywords, I would also see which of the affiliate programs that are currently running deals I can get into.

ShareASale has a big section inside their affiliate network where you can find which companies are running deals and then join them:

starting a coupon business website

Starting out, I would hand-pick some of these deals and then create landing pages for them on my website.

Rakuten LinkShare also has data feeds you can play around with- I haven’t done this myself, so I’m not sure if/how the coupon codes could be provided on Rakuten’s end and whether they’d be routinely updated:

coupon data feed

My suspicon, having dealt with these affiliate networks a bit, is that the end product of these data feeds is not going to look that great and suffer from numerous glitches. Here’s a somewhat dated video showing someone setting it up:

I would check out some of the popular deals websites to see how they design them.

You could also use a plug-in like this Coupon Reveal Button, to obscure a coupon code, only revealing it when it is clicked, which will effectively cookie the user so that you can earn affiliate commissions on their session.

But- you don’t always have to do it that way, particularly if you are affiliate-linking to a ‘Sale’ that doesn’t require a coupon code (the JCPenney screenshot below demonstrates what that looks like).

Other Affiliate Networks

Landing Page Design

I would experiment with creating unique content about the company on the coupon landing page so that it is keyword rich and has a better opportunity to rank.

For example, Brad’s Deals actually places a bunch of unique content in the sidebar for JCPenney:

coupon code site example

It looks like the individual coupon codes are Products, which appear on this page using a Product Category shortcode with a ‘smart’ widget sidebar to display JCPenney info alongside the JCPenney coupon codes.

Coupon Management

As well, I would make sure to keep track of all the different coupon codes so that when they expire you can update the page- I recommend using ThirstyAffiliates, at least to start.

A Pro level subscription will get you access to their Link Scheduler tool. So, you can set a link to expire when that particular deal is set to end and then automatically redirect it to after that point. link scheduling affiliate tool

With some of the coupon themes, as well as WooCommerce, you’ll also be able to give coupon codes a time frame- automatically deactivating them once the promotion has ended.

A lot of websites in the coupon niche merely spin out thousands of these coupon pages and they don’t update the deals. They claim that there’s a coupon code if you click an affiliate link- but the code has either expired or never existed in the first place.

This makes for poor user experience. People come to your site and try to use a coupon code that has expired, which causes them to rage quit your website.

Sure you might earn a commission if they end up buying, but it remains a poor user experience and a rather unethical gimmick.

If you want true staying power, I’d keep the deals pages updated with the latest information regarding present and even future sales information. Affiliates frequently get alerted to upcoming sales so they can plan promotions in advance.

Auto-Updating Coupons

There are some services that will manage your coupon codes for you- check out LinkMyDeals. The way it works “LinkMyDeals automatically updates latest offers on your Coupon website/App with unique titles & descriptions. So you get all the time to focus on your growth strategies.”

Or, Coupon API, which offers a “Single API to get Coupons from all Affiliate Programs.”

You won’t need this out of the gate, but it would be something to consider once you’re getting some decent site traffic.

Figure out more traffic sources

Email

You could also do very well with an email list. For example, say you run a general coupon site, you can use email opt-in software like OptinMonster to have custom pop-ups and opt-ins on different pages.

For example, say you get a lot of traffic to your 1-800-flowers coupon page. You could serve a popup on that page that is just for people interested in flower discount codes and then email market to them exclusively.

This is sort of email list segmentation is very powerful.

You can see how Brad’s Deals emails people on their list below:

brads deals example email

Social

As I’m writing this, Black Friday is approaching.

I’m obsessed with internet marketing automation lifetime deals and I depend on one of my favorite Facebook groups, Martechwise, for deal alerts.

People flock to social media to find working coupon codes- I’d experiment with a social media drip tool like MissingLettr to automate cross-platform content promotion.

_3 macys coupon code - Twitter Search Twitter

You can even create a Facebook Group- that’s where I go to see the latest and best deals.

Summing Up

There are tons of coupon sites out there.

But, there’s also a ton of search volume for these terms- even though tools like Honey and Wikibuy are grabbing up massive user bases. I use Honey & Wikibuy- they don’t get ALL the deals, that’s for sure.

So I wouldn’t be scared off from these Capital One / PayPal companies- there’s a lot of Search and Social traffic to be had here. Especially if you can build a reliable, usable coupon site.

The Best Places To Buy Websites

auction
comparing website auction sites

The first website I ever bought was a dog bed affiliate site started by a husband and wife team. 

It was a dinky, exact-match-domain.

I bought it for ~$500 off of Flippa back in 2016.

I still remember the immense anxiety I felt negotiating the site transfer.

I even got on the phone with the site owners to hash out the site migration.

Once I had the site, I decided to convert it to a Wayfair affiliate site, thinking it made sense to diversify away from Amazon. 

I spent a week slamming the site with content- upgrading old posts, ferreting out new keywords in this rather narrow niche.

Buying A Dog Bed Site

Dog Bed Reviews - Dog Bed Reviews

It wasn't a bad earner- I probably got it up to ~$500/month from Amazon and Wayfair.

Then Wayfair left ShareASale and all the Wayfair links broke.

And then Amazon decided to upgrade my primary affiliate site's commissions. 

I decided to deactivate the site to minimize my exposure to Amazon Associate TOS violations.

It wasn't getting a ton of traffic and all the broken ShareASale links would be a huge nuisance to fix.

I've bought one other site- that one was a much more sustained success.

I've spent A LOT of time on website auction sites.

I'm going to discuss some of my favorite places to buy and sell websites, examining how they compare, and introduce a new option, MotionInvest*.

*I am an affiliate for MotionInvest, so if you end up purchasing one of their sites, I would receive a commission.

tl;dr Summary

Historically, my favorite broker sites, in order have been: 

  1. Flippa: big, public marketplace of free-to-browse, lightly vetted/unvetted website listings. Lots of useful features like custom email notifications, auction commenting, direct buyer/seller messaging, but rife with spam/deceptive listings that can trick a novice into a disastrous purchase. Has the most auction listings at any one time- nearly 4,000 at the time of this writing. Best for budget buys and deals in the affiliate / display / eCommerce and drop shipping space.
  2. FE International: high-end website brokerage, much more 'old world' than other listings. It's free to join the Buyer Network. Once you request a prospectus, they'll email you a detailed business summary of the website. Harder to find 'steals' because everything is so vetted, but it's significantly less risky purchasing from them than Flippa, especially if you are a novice. Has about 50 sites for sale right now. Best for vetted, higher-end (i.e. 6-figure+) affiliate / display / eCommerce and drop shipping acquisitions.
  3. Empire Flippers: a curated marketplace, bit more modern than FE International. Again, not a great place to find undervalued assets. You need to pay a refundable deposit to view the site URL. Has about 50 sites for sale right now. Best for vetted, higher-end (i.e. 6-figure+) affiliate / display / eCommerce and drop shipping acquisitions.

A New Option:

motion invest logo

MotionInvest: a new option with an alternative approach to website sales. MotionInvest has actually purchased the sites sites that they are selling.


This means that they have significant skin in the game- none of the other auction sites actually own the properties. 


They're targeting the purchase and sale of sites that are earning under $2k a month.


Additionally, they offer coaching and support to help you grow the site(s) you purchase.


According to one of the founders, Jon Gillham, MotionInvest intends to "sell your content site and buy content sites directly from us in the underserved <~$2000/month/site range."


"The sites for sale are at or below industry standard multiples, typically we are selling sites below 3x the average earnings. Coaching and ongoing support after you buy the site is an option, we want to ensure people are getting quality sites with the tools they need to succeed." (Source


Best for vetted, lower-priced ($4-5 figure), value acquisitions of affiliate sites.

How They Compare

 Free to use?Comments?Interact With Seller?Number Of Listings (11/19)
FlippaYes (sometimes NDA required)YesYes~5,000
Empire FlippersRequires refundable deposit to view URLNoNo~50
FE InternationalFree to join buyer network and request prospectusNoNo~50
MotionInvestYesNoNo~10

Thoughts On Buying Sites

I've spent countless hours searching for sites to buy. I've only bought 2.

Only 1 of those sites is still active. I've been really happy with the purchase and earned my money back on it several times over. 

However, a recent Google algorithm update significantly impacted the site's traffic- around 40%, about a week ago.

I think that it will recover, somewhat- mainly because the information is good and there aren't that many competitors, but only time will tell...

Google Updates

Google has recently (9/19 and 11/19) been releasing core algorithm updates that have significantly reduced many sites' organic website traffic.

I'm much leerier of purchasing a site nowadays, even if it has a stellar record of organic traffic growth, because the next Google update could, inexplicably, decimate its rankings.

When purchasing a site, most people are looking for organic rankings- it's the best equity a site can have because, historically, once a site has achieved some decent organic rankings, it generally maintains/grows keyword rankings over time.

However, these core algorithm updates, combined with Google increasingly cramming its own products into the SERPs, pushing websites further and further below the fold, create a worrying trend.

Check out a search like "DIY desk". You can see that there are Google ads, then Google Images, then YouTube videos, before the first search engine result is served:

diy desk - Google Search example

So, even if you're not losing 'rankings', per say, your website is probably losing SERP visibility, and therefore clicks.

My Advice

If I were buying a site, I'd be looking for big-time blindspots I can quickly correct.

Whether that's improving affiliate/ad monetization, social media traffic, Conversion Rate Optimization, technical SEO (site speed, etc.), building/monetizing an email list.

The faster you can make your money back on the site purchase the better- especially if the next Google algorithm update decides to gut your keyword rankings.

In my opinion, it's riskier to merely buy and hold a profitable website, expecting it to steadily earn back your investment into eventual profit.

I'd recommend only buying website whose revenue you are confident you can pretty quickly '10x', given your skill set.

I Almost Bought A Wiccan Website

woman-wears-black-sleeveless-top-3052651

Several years a go I was thisclose to purchasing a Wiccan website. 

The site had good traffic, underleveraged SEO opportunities, a big email list and an active community.

I agonized about it for awhile, but ultimately didn't purchase it.

I'm glad I didn't.

Looking back on it, I realize that I wouldn't have been comfortable managing a site about witchcraft and spells.

It would have required a ton of email marketing optimization to improve earnings. 

I don't enjoy emailing people or writing sales copy.

And God only knows what type of affiliate products I would have had to promote.

There would also have been a lot of ongoing community management responsibilities, something I have zero interest in.

This is all to say, it's a good idea to have a clear sense of your strengths and weaknesses as an internet marketer.

And then evaluate those abilities against the leverage opportunities.

How They Compare

I'll compare the auction sites across a range of different criteria, from finding deals to price and listing volume.

Finding Deals

When it comes to 'deals', I'm evaluating sites based on their:  

  1. Profit Multiple: purchasing sites below a 36x monthly net profit multiple
  2. 'Leverageability': purchasing sites that I can quickly, dependably improve by substantively increasing traffic/earnings

There are sites that, to me, are good deals if they can be purchased below the standard 36x profit multiple.

But there are also sites that might be selling at a 36x+ profit multiple that are good deals because I know I can improve earnings and traffic. 

For example, there are sites that have underleveraged email lists, or no email lists at all.

Maybe they're using a low-earning ad network. 

Maybe there's some Conversion Rate Optimization you can do: improve/add calls to action, clean up poor text formatting, increase site speed, etc. 

Remember- if you hate email marketing, don't buy a site planning to 'leverage' email marketing.

While this sounds pretty obvious- you want to be sure you have the required skill and passion to actually leverage the asset.

Flippa

If you're looking to find a deal, as I define it, Flippa is the best place to go. While there's a lot of spammy and deceptive listings, all of that clutter helps obscure true gems.

Below is a good example of a suspicious Flippa listing. 

You can tell just from how the blog's marketed as an automated, passive income "cash machine" that it should be avoided at all costs. 

flippa spammy listing

Besides the gimmicky, over-hyped listing title, the auction page doesn't provide traffic statistics and the seller is deleting comments right and left: avoid!

That said, there are a bunch of website filters you can use to narrow down their inventory to find quality listings at reasonable valuations.

Say you want a site that gets 25,000 uniques a month but is only earning less than $200- their filtering is easy to use.

Flippa really doesn't police the listings- which means it's up to you to do your own due diligence on the site.

A lot of times I've seen them side with/ignore flagrantly deceptive website auctions.

For example, sites that claim big organic traffic numbers, but are unsubstantiated after a quick Ahrefs Site Analysis. 

Empire Flippers and FE International

Empire Flippers and FE International- you're really not getting any 'Profit Multiple' deals. They're heavily curated marketplaces.

They spend a lot of time vetting the sites and producing custom-written auction listings.

You're generally guaranteed to be paying at least a 30x monthly profit multiple. If not a 36x+ multiple.

That doesn't mean it's not a good deal- especially if you have a solid 'Leverage' plan to increase traffic/earnings.

But, it's rare that you're seeing listings below the 6-figure range. And you're not stumbling across an overlooked Flippa website that you can scoop up for a bargain Buy It Now price.

MotionInvest

At the time of this writing, there has only been one site available or sold that's making over $1,000 a month.

There are two active listings- one making $300 and the other making $559 a month. These are pretty sweet-spot deals for buyers like myself. 

Once sites begin hitting $1,000 in monthly earnings, you can expect to be paying 30-36x for them.

There's obviously a big difference between buying a site for $36,000 ($1,000 x 36) and buying the $300/month site, which is currently priced at $8,000. 

I'd much rather buy websites when they're earning below $1,000 a month, and showing some upward mobility, than investing in a site that's already earning over $1,000. The multiple adds up pretty aggressively once a site is earning in the 4-figure range.

In terms of finding deals, if MotionInvest continues to source these types of lower-priced sites, I would rank it below Flippa but above Empire Flippers and FE International, in terms of 'deal' availability. 

Though, it's important to remember: a site that's selling for 6 figures could still be a good deal. It just depends on your ability to extract and multiple value from it, relative to the purchase price.

Pricing

If you're especially price sensitive, i.e. you're not equipped to spend deep into and above five figures on websites, Flippa and MotionInvest are your best buying options. FE International and Empire Flippers rarely have listings below 6 figures.

Site Access

Flippa is the easiest to browse. Every so often you have to sign an NDA, more frequently with eCommerce listings, but for the most part the site URLs are available. 

Flippa Pro Tip

Sometimes Flippa makes it uncessarily difficult to view the actual site websites' URL.


Currently, I'm seeing the URL all the way at the bottom of the listing page.


As long as the listing isn't hidden behind an NDA, another way to find the actual URL of the website for sale, click the BuiltWith or WhoIs links in the Site Info section and you'll see the URL.

buy websites

Empire Flippers

With Empire Flippers, you're going to need to put down a refundable deposit to see the site URL for sale.

FE International

With FE International, once you sign up to receive auction updates, you'll get emailed the listings with a link to request a prospectus:

fe international buying websites

MotionInvest

MotionInvest lets you see site URLs once you sign up, so up there with Flippa in terms of accessibility.

Volume

Flippa has the most sites available for sale at any time- almost 4,000 at the time of this writing.

Empire Flippers has about ~50 sites for sale at the time of this writing and FE International has 45.

MotionInvest currently has 2 sites available for sale- but as a new endeavor this will likely increase over time.

Due Diligence

Here's where MotionInvest really shines.

Because they've purchased the sites they're selling, you can be pretty confident that they are structurally sound.

In addition, they also provide the most robust analytical information- incorporating Ahrefs, SEMRush and Majestic data so customers can get objective insights without paying for these pricey SEO tools.

Flippa

As I mentioned, Flippa will require the most due diligence.

They do provide some information about traffic sources, site uniqueness and monetization, but these are frequently unreliable.

I'd never buy a site from Flippa without an Ahrefs subscription. Ahrefs will help you verify ranking keywords, the quality/quantity of its backlinks, and you can even conduct a techncial site audit to deep dive into its health.

Empire Flippers

EmpireFlippers and FE International both provide a lot of information- but neither provide Ahrefs/SEMrush data.

An EmpireFlippers auction listing includes a lot of data as well as an editorial write-up. Sometimes there's even an audio interview of the site owner available.

empire flippers auction listing example

FE International

I can't reveal too much from FE International- but below you can see the table of contents of a prospectus I received. It outlines all the different information they provide: 

fe international prospectus

MotionInvest

MotionInvest provides screenshots from Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Majestic:

motioninvest auction data

They also help interpret the data from these SEO tools. In terms of data transparency, I'd rank it #1, though FE International is best at editorializing the listings. Their writeups read like SEC disclosures.

Post Sale Support

After you've purchased a site, there's the nerve-wracking process of actually migrating all the content and domain name to your registrar and hosting provider.

You might also have questions for the previous owner. WordPress sites can be a tangled cord of interdependent plugins- you'll want to have a clear understanding of how the site was constructed. 

For example, one of the sites I bought was using a redundant pair of SEO plugins. 

I was hesitant for a long time to remove one or the other, unsure what the ramifications would be.

I'm not super technical- but one solution is to create a staging environment site, essentially a duplicate testing site, so you can experiment with site changes without destroying your site in the process.

Regardless, all of these auction sites, except MotionInvest, have seller clauses that commit them to some measure of 30-60-90 day after-sale support. How well that works, I don't know.

MotionInvest offers a unique upsell, providing paid coaching and support for the site you purchased.

Miscellaneous Factors

Comments: another thing I like about Flippa- they allow comments on auctions. Really popular listings get vetted in the comment section and a lot of due diligence is done for you.

Plus, if you 'Watch' a listing, you'll get an automated email whenever someone comments on auction.

These can be tremendously entertaining as site owners and prospective buyers argue about site worth. 

Direct Messaging: Flippa also lets you directly message the seller.

Other platforms don't do this- especially since more curated marketplaces have a lot more to lose if the buyer and seller conspire to take the transaction off-platform. 

Since Flippa doesn't heavily police its auctions, and there are so many listings, it makes sense that they reduce transactional limitations.

Custom auction filters: Flippa, again, has a pretty useful feature here- I get emailed a curated list of site auctions based on criteria I set. For example, say I want a Content Site that's making $50-$250 a month. It's easy to do: 

flippa custom filters save search

Summing Up

Purchasing a website can be an excellent opportunity to acquire 'something that works'.

That is to say, you can start a site from scratch and for reasons both inside and outside of your control it just never takes off.

When you buy a website, you remove a level of uncertainty about its viability.

Though, as we've seen with Google algorithm updates, organic traffic can be fickle.

The best advice I can offer: evaluate your marketing skills and invest in the assets you're confident you can leverage for quick returns.

Ranking For Dreams

ranking for dreams

What was the last dream you remember having?

For me, it was a comically obvious nightmare about school. Something about a forgotten exam, a failing grade, a missed due date- it’s always horrible.

According to this sleep study, I’m experiencing one of the most common dreams- the ‘being back in school’ nightmare.

common dreams

In this next niche report, I’m analyzing sites that rank for dream interpretation keywords.

I’ve highlighted an example site below- dreamdictionary.org.

You can see the site ranks for about 25,000 keywords. Granted, that’s not a lot, but it’s representative of many sites in this niche that have some truly outsized organic traffic from dream keywords.

Once you dig into the keywords, you see all different types of dreams that the site ranks for from dreams about water, tornado dreams, and dreaming of being naked.

What’s a tornado dream mean? I had no idea- check out this interpretation:

Keyword Research

I performed some keyword research- exporting 1,000 of their top-performing organic keywords. Check out the table below. You can even download it to catalyze your own research- try it out with SEMrush or Ahrefs.

What I Would Do

This isn’t a niche that I necessarily would enter into, but I do have some ideas. For example, it could be useful if you are selling services related to dream keywords.

My mother is a therapist and I’ve done some online marketing for her and this could be an interesting type of keyword to rank for and see if it can generate actual leads. In that sense, it’s more a silo of content than an entirely focused website.

As well, say you run a website about psychology, you could easily experiment with a category of dream content. In which case, targeting some of these dream key words could be a lucrative bet.

Overall, as I generally advise, I would start out doing some keyword research to map out a potential site and inform the type of content I would be creating. I would use a mind map to explore the different themes in the keyword research table on this page.

(Mind Map Example For The Tennis Niche)

Tennis MindMeister Mind Map.png

Once I figured out different themes, I could organize different keywords beneath those themes.

For example, I see dreams about natural disasters and animals- those both could be a category of content, or merely be tagged in WordPress. This would help organize and curate the content so that it is easier for you to figure out what to write about and for your readers to use your site.

YouTube

There is some good traffic to be had from creating YouTube videos in this niche. Check out this video I found for the query “dream about cats meaning”:

At the time of this writing, it has nearly 50,000 views. And it is voiced by a robot.

Somebody has used some software to convert a blog post into a video with some images of cats as a slideshow. This is very low-effort YouTube content marketing, but it has an impressive view count. There’s definitely some real traffic opportunities here.

What I Like

Interesting Topic

If you’re interested in dream psychology, this could be a really interesting niche for you. You could probably do pretty well with a YouTube channel or a Pinterest account, creating contextually relevant content about dreams on those social media platforms.

What I’m Unsure About

Keyword Difficulty

I’m generally attracted to big keyword opportunities that have limited competition. Here, the keyword volumes aren’t necessarily that huge and the difficulty is a little bit higher than I would like to see, especially since there isn’t an obvious affiliate opportunity in this niche.

What I Don’t Like

Limited Monetization

This will likely be just a display ads play. There are not really any physical products you can sell here.

Maybe there are some information products you can dip into- check out these Clickbank offers that are most about coaching lucid dreaming.

Their Gravity, which is the ClickBank score used to assess an items selling potential, are all pretty low:

Here’s the Lucid Dreaming Made Easy landing page:

dream affiliate program

FlexOffers includes the TalkSpace affiliate program. Maybe you are able to link to online psychologists who can help people with dream interpretation and other life issues.

Summing Up

I think that this is a solid niche to enter into. Particularly if you have a passion for dream interpretation, it could be a great website to start, especially if you supplement with third-party social media platforms like YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter.

As well, if you are in a related niche, you could definitely siphon some traffic from this keyword vertical without having to start an entire, dream-dedicated website.

Ranking For Random Dates In Time

calendar site

In the past, I’ve written about a variety of niches that are somewhat strange and obscure. These include expired food searches, ranking for random people’s names, ranking for license plates, and ranking for phone numbers.

In this niche report, I’m going to analyze sites that rank for dates and time.

There are searches for literally every combination of day / year and month / year on the calendar.

For example, take a look at the keyword rankings of onthisday.com:

Overview www onthisday com on Ahrefs

You can see that they rank for 564,000 keywords with 1.2 million estimated monthly organic visits.

Using Ahrefs, I filter their keywords by “10th”, and you can see a variety of different keyword searches that include this term, July 10th, November 10th 2015, May 10th 2017, December 10th in history and on and on.

Organic keywords for www onthisday com

How They Make Money

If you click into one of these search results, for example the November 10th landing page, you’ll see that this page catalogs all sorts of different historical events that occurred on November 10th:

November 10 - Historical Events - On This Day

In addition, there are two prominent above the fold ad units.

The page is pretty comprehensive with a lot of deep links to specific historical events like a failed palace revolution in France against Richelieu.

Keyword Research

I did some more keyword research below- check out the interactive table to see their top 1,000 organic keyword rankings.

As you can see below they don’t just rank for obscure dates and time, they rank for a range of different big-time search queries like this “day in history”, ”today in history”, ”famous birthdays”, ”Clint Eastwood”, ”who died today”, “famous birthdays today” and so on.

What I would do

This site is pretty ambitious. It catalogs all different types of events that have occurred throughout time.

Niche Down

If I were entering into a niche like this, I might drill down a bit into a specific genre like music, sports or technology. It would be a lot more manageable with a tighter focus- though you will sacrifice significant Search potential when you go narrower.

Site Structure

Another important thing that I’ve learned building sites is that you want to get the site structure correct from the start.

I would study how onthisday.com has structured things. If you look at their menu structure, you can get a bit of an overview of the site’s intelligent categorizations:

On This Day - Today in History Film Music and Sport

There are categories for history, film & TV, music, sport as well as categories for individual months, years and days.

You probably wouldn’t be able to emulate such a comprehensive site structure to start, but make sure you give it some forethought so that you can always adapt the content you’re creating to an improved site structure in the future.

Content Style

Maybe you start a site that discusses basketball history, going through each day of the year to catalog some of the top events that occurred.

Keep in mind, you’re not going to just rank for the individual day search, you are going to end up ranking for the events that are occurring on that day.

For example, if you look at today’s date and analyze what is ranking for, they’re obviously a lot of September 7th related searches, but you can also see that they end up ranking for some really weird, long-tail keywords:Organic keywords for https www onthisday com events september 7

Once I had figured out site structure and a narrower niche, I would analyze how I want to create content. Maybe I start by going through every day of the calendar year and figuring out all of the important historical events that occurred on that day across time, i.e. many different years.

Or, maybe you decide to write long essays about the significance of certain days to technology or sports. Or maybe you do both- you have a long list of events that occurred on a specific day and combine that with longer-form, essay-style content.

What I like

Once again, this niche capitalizes on one of my favorite search ranking formulas- high search volume and low competition. As you might imagine, there is not a ton of competition for these keyword searches.

Additionally, there’s a ton of long-tail keywords here because literally every combination of day, month and year get some level of search traffic that you can optimize for.

Fun

This can be a really fun site to own. Particularly if you decide to write about a topic that interests you. Keep in mind, though, that if you niche down to something that is too obscure, and you’re trying to rank for dates and years in that particular niche, you might be sacrificing some significant search traffic.

As I’ve already touched on, however, say you are in a particular niche, you’re not strictly limited to ranking for individual days and years, you can rank for specific events that are important to your niche.

What I don’t like

Monetization

This is going to be a display ads play. If you’ve been following along with my case study, you’ll see how difficult it can be to get a display ad property enough traffic that it makes decent money from AdSense or Mediavine.

On the other hand, you can earn more money faster by creating an affiliate site.

That’s definitely something you want to think about. On the other hand, it’s a lot easier to get traffic for obscure keywords when you write about days of the week than it would be writing affiliate product reviews.

So there is a trade-off here, for sure. A lot of these sites with massive traffic figures don’t have affiliate opportunities.

Arduous Content

It’s a pretty arduous task to catalog the historical events that have occurred on a specific day.

This is not the easiest type of content to create. For a lot of sites, you can use something like HireWriters to spin out some mediocre quality content, but for a site like this, I think it would be better to have some dedicated writers from UpWork, not just paid text mercenaries from a brokerage.

Summing Up

This is another strange and somewhat curious niche to enter into. There are some pretty amazing opportunities here, but you will need some decent traffic to truly capitalize on the income potential.

5+ Examples Of The REHub WordPress Theme With User Reviews

wordpress

REHub is a hybrid WordPress theme boasting unique features based on current trends and business needs. It’s recommended for multi-vendor marketplaces, eCommerce shops, and affiliate marketing.

If you were looking to buy a versatile WordPress theme, take a look at some of the example sites below that are using it. You’ll see that it is adapted to a variety of different use cases, from a DIY interior design blog to an entertainment content site.

Video Guide: Building A Site With REHub

[thrive_link color=’red’ link=’https://nichefacts.com/recommends/rehub/’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]VIEW REHUB PRICE [/thrive_link]

Real Live Examples

Coupon Site

rehub theme review example

[thrive_link color=’red’ link=’https://nichefacts.com/recommends/rehub/’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]BUY REHUB PRICE [/thrive_link]

Medical Devices

rehub example site wordpress

[thrive_link color=’red’ link=’https://nichefacts.com/recommends/rehub/’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]REHUB FEATURES[/thrive_link]

Entertainment Blog

rehub wordpress blog example

DIY Site

rehub diy example site for wordpress

Baby Blog

rehub blog review

User Reviews

To discover what clients think about REHub and judge its efficiency and quality, we search through numerous reviews and ratings.

  • A client shares that he likes the price or product comparison options and that the dynamic price update will be useful to any eCommerce shop. The user also comments that he is satisfied with the plugins included in the REHub package and the complexity of the theme. However, he warns that it might take you a while to understand what you can do with the available plugins.
  • Another buyer points out that REHub offers more than 40 custom Elementor modules in addition to extended layouts. The user mentions that the vendor/users panels are very handy and that he loves the design and versatility of the template.
  • Another individual comments that he likes the ability to create price range pages, custom tables, and advanced search filters. He also mentions that the theme offers advanced mobile support and that it’s compatible with multiple vendors, including WC Vendor, Docan, WCFM, WC Marketplace.
  • On the other hand, an unhappy customer says that the code has too many bugs and that it’s not working as well as he expected. He contacted Customer Support, but they were not very helpful and that he was disappointed by how the theme’s feature and performance.
  • A user said that he found it difficult to upgrade to the newest version and that it would have been better if there was a step-by-step guide. However, other clients pointed out that support had released such a document already and that you could ask them to do the update for you by sending them admin access.
  • A website owner claims that REHub is not very mobile friendly and that it’s not as responsive as he expects it to be. He adds that the content doesn’t fit a mobile’s screen and that its features are outdated. The client also observes that the author is not a native English speaker, and as such, some of the instructions are hard to comprehend and execute.
  • Another client also points out that the mobile layouts need improvement because it’s not as functional as it should. However, he says that the template is easy to use and that he hasn’t had any issues with it. The user adds that customer support is always ready to answer questions and that the theme updates frequently.
  • Another purchaser states that he doesn’t like working with Elementor page builder because it’s horrible and buggy. He wanted to know if it would be possible to use WP Bakery with this template. Support explained that Elementor is superior to them in quality, but he still can use WP Bakery if he wants.
  • A web developer shares that he is satisfied with the quality of the code and that he has been using REHub for several projects already. He says that he has never seen a template with so many customizable options and that the plugins do not slow down the websites.
  • Another purchaser reports that he uses this theme for WooCommerce and that he is very pleased with the achieved results. The flexibility of the design is astonishing according to him and that the code is well-written.
  • A user comments that he has been using the REHub theme for his 3-4 websites and that he doesn’t have any complaints. The person mentions that the template gets better and better with every update and that he highly recommends it.
  • On the other hand, a client complains that you can’t get adequate support for this theme and that his tickets remain unanswered. He has continuous problems with the template because the provided documentation is not well-written and beginner-friendly.
  • Another buyer observes that while some of the features might be hard to understand even by experienced developers, it’s worth the effort. He mentions that the template is perfect for affiliate sites and compare/review blogs.
  • A client says that the theme works smoothly and that the speed of his website is adequate. He also mentions that it allows you to build a nice-looking site with amazing features very easily if you’re an experienced developer. However, he notes that the code has some bugs in it and that customer support sometimes takes its time to respond to requests.

The ‘Gone Wild’ Words Of UrbanDictionary.com

Drunk girls with fancy cocktails in strip club

In this niche report, I’m going to examine the weird and wild words of urbandictionary.com.

This site catalogs all sorts of new and old idiomatic expressions, frequently capitalizing on viral and trendy neologisms, i.e. ‘newly coined words’.

There are a lot of online dictionary sites out there, from old mainstays like the Encyclopedia Britannica to newer examples like Urban Dictionary itself.

But few of them are as effective at cataloging the internet’s bizarre and perverted lexicon.

Check out its staggering organic traffic rankings:

Overview urbandictionary com on Ahrefs

The Big Idea

dictionary sites

The big idea here is that there are some out of the box ways you can get traffic to a site.

You don’t always need to rank for ‘best toilet seat’ or ‘fat burning diet pills’. You can rake in a ton of organic traffic passively in weird niches.

For example, by documenting internet culture keywords like these:

(Normally I publish an interactive AirTable of the keywords- but in this case, there were too many X-rated keywords and I didn’t want to end up violating an AirTable T.O.S. Use Ahrefs or SEMrush to download their keywords.)

Organic keywords for urbandictionary com

Be forewarned, there are some pretty scandalous and sexual keywords here. But feast your eyes on the staggering search volume for words like covfefe (546,000), bts (1,250,000) and oof (193,000).

Competitors

While Urban Dictionary has about 21 million ranking keywords, there are several similarly-sized sites like wiktionary.org and thefreedictionary.com.

You can see that Wikipedia.org, of course, crushes everybody with 370 million keywords.

CompetitorDomain RatingAhrefs RankTotal BacklinksTotal KeywordsTotal Traffic
https://dictionary.com901,26045,088,58010,366,57550,578,076
https://merriam-webster.com9086848,737,23513,299,84690,844,974
https://wiktionary.org9159598,657,77925,010,06797,795,316
https://thefreedictionary.com881,87633,681,77121,082,80840,546,566
https://yourdictionary.com819,7665,039,1459,394,41225,003,906
https://thesaurus.com827,1103,556,9865,637,22126,866,553
https://en.wikipedia.org95172,649,598,701370,343,3732,406,298,468

These are all massive, massive websites. To get to a million ranking keywords is a significant achievement.

How They Make Money

A dictionary site like this is going to make money by running ads- you can see two ad (#1 & #2) placements on their “Dank” page below.

urban dictionary money

Additionally,  they sell merchandise with the phrase/expression on them (#3):

Dank Mug - Urban Dictionary

Further down the page, they even have an affiliate link for NameCheap- promoting purchases of relevant domain names.

So, it’s a nice mixture of eCommerce, ads, and affiliate monetization.

The website is a lot of fun and packed with amusing content and imagery.

Like a post-modern Encyclopedia Britannica.

How Much Do They Make?

I used SimilarWeb to get a sense of their overall monthly traffic:

Urbandictionary com Analytics - Market Share Stats Traffic Ranking

They estimate that the site gets an average of 62 million visits a month, with the average pages per visit at 1.81.

If you wanted to get a sense of their earning potential, you could divide 62 million by 1,000 (62,000) and multiply it by an estimated CPM.

Say, their CPM is $10, that would mean the site’s earning $620,000 a month.

Plus, they sell merchandise so there are additional earnings from those sales and perhaps other ad sales they might be doing.

How They Get Traffic

A big content site like Urban Dictionary is going to get a lot of organic traffic as well as direct, social and referral traffic:

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

That’s because it’s a big brand name at this point. If anyone is ever confused about the meaning of a new word trending on Twitter, for example, many of them are likely to head directly to the website to research its origins.

However, there’s a ton of organic traffic here. If you’re looking to start a site in a niche like this, obviously you’re going to be targeting organic traffic to start.

What I Would Do

If I were going to start a dictionary site, I would think long and hard about niching down into a particular vertical.

Maybe you cover gaming keywords.

A lot of these weird, modern expressions that emerge from social media, for example, often have to do with live streamers on Twitch or YouTubers.

Keyword Research

Once I had selected a niche, I would do a lot of keyword research to pick off keywords to produce content for. I’d try to develop a consistent content template and then hire writers to produce loads of content.

User Engagement

I would also try to make the content fun and interesting. Rather than writing up a wall of text to appease a search algorithm, I would insert images, videos, tweets, etc. to make the content media-rich and interesting to scroll through.

Maybe you use the Stencil Chrome extension to create custom graphics for each post and optimize it so that it’s discoverable in Google Images.

What I Like

Low competition / High search volume keywords

This is one of my favorite recipes. Whenever I think about entering into a niche and building out a content site, it’s great to see that there is a lot of keywords with big search volumes that are not that difficult to rank for.

Additionally, since these words are constantly being invented, there is an evergreen stream of new content opportunities to create.

Content Style

As well, an often-overlooked consideration is the style and even the expense of a niche’s content.

The content here is cheap and easy to write. As well, it doesn’t have to be that long.

If you look at the length of some of the posts that rank for these keywords, you’ll see that many of them are only a couple of hundred words long, or even less.

What I don’t like

Limited monetization

This is going to be a display advertising play.

If you’ve been following along with my case study, you can see the frustrations I’ve had getting my site to enough traffic that I can see some modest ad returns on it.

You are going to need sizable traffic- maybe a thousand sessions the day before you begin seeing decent money from the site.

Summing Up

This could be a really fun and niche. If you are struggling to think of a type of site you want to create, you can always experiment in a niche like this, confident that there is always going to be a lot of local competition / high search volume keywords to rank for.

The 25+ Best Insurance Affiliate Programs | How To Monetize Them

insurance affiliate programs

The international insurance market is a trillion-dollar industry (Source).

Selecting the right coverage can be incredibly complex for buyers, with a range of different providers offering a variety of membership levels.

On the provider side, when you sign up someone for an insurance plan, they rarely leave it.

Where I live, in fact, our beneficent government dramatically restricts your ability to change plans.

That’s an incredible business model for the insurance provider who is able to lock buyers into long-term contracts that are difficult to leave.

Naturally, given this lucrative and competitive landscape, many insurance providers are willing to pay for qualified, converting traffic.

In this niche report, I’m going to take a look at how insurance affiliate sites are acquiring traffic and converting it on different affiliate offers.

Some of the top affiliates like Nerd Wallet are producing some pretty slick creative. Check out how they’re promoting auto insurance (here’s the page).

insurance comparison example

Types Of Insurance Affiliate Programs

There are a bunch of different types of insurance options you can promote.

Liberty Mutual has a popular affiliate program- check out all their different offers:

liberty mutual insurance affiliate

  1. auto & vehicle insurance affiliate program
  2. property insurance affiliate programs
  3. health insurance affiliate programs
  4. pet insurance affiliate program
  5. travel insurance affiliate programs
  6. dental insurance affiliate programs
  7. life insurance affiliate programs
  8. identity theft affiliate programs
  9. small business affiliate programs
  10. accident affiliate programs
  11. critical illness affiliate programs

Popular Programs & Networks

Some of the popular programs and networks include:

  1. The Allstate Insurance Affiliate Program ($5-$20 per lead)
  2. The eHealth Insurance Affiliate Program ($10-$75 per lead)
  3. The American Automobile Association (AAA) Affiliate Program: ($.30 per click)
  4. The Liberty Mutual Affiliate Program: ($3-$17 per lead)

The FlexOffers affiliate network also has a bunch of different options:

  • My CoPay is Too High Affiliate Program
  • Breeze | Affordable Disability Insurance Affiliate Program
  • Trip Cover Affiliate Program
  • Lemonade (US) Affiliate Program
  • Mason Finance Affiliate Program
  • Travel Insurance Saver Affiliate Program
  • AardvarkInsure.com Affiliate Program
  • Direct Asia Insurance Affiliate Program
  • Insure the GAP Affiliate Program
  • Allianz Pojistovna, A.s. – CZ Affiliate Program
  • Premium Health Connections Affiliate Program
  • Towergate Touring Caravan Insurance Affiliate Program
  • Jet2 Insurance Affiliate Program
  • Midcounties Co-operative Travel Insurance Affiliate Program
  • Zelf NL Affiliate Program
  • Pedalsure Affiliate Program

Niche Site Analysis

To get a sense of what insurance affiliates are doing to acquire and convert this traffic, I started Googling around and found a couple of different affiliate sites. One of the bigger ones I found that was wholly dedicated to insurance was US Insurance Agents.

insurance niche example

You can see that the site ranks for over 110,000 organic keywords. That’s not a gigantic number, per se. Especially compared with some of the other niche sites I have examined, but this is a pretty competitive space, so these rankings are very solid.

insurange website stats

Keyword Research

I extracted 1,000 of their top-performing organic keywords to get a sense of the content they rank for and the type of traffic they’re acquiring.

Content Themes

  • You can see that they rank for the brand names of the insurance providers (“kemper insurance”),
  • review keywords like “state auto insurance reviews”,
  • and general information queries like “can i insure a car that is not in my name”.

If you are going to build a content site that acquires traffic passively, you’ll want to examine the industry’s keywords and figure out the type of content you want to create the rank for them.

As well, this keyword research will help inform your content creation efforts on platforms like YouTube.

Maybe you focus on a silo of ‘review’ content and a silo of content answering common industry questions like “how to check what vehicles are registered in my name”, which is a low difficulty keyword from the research table above.

I’ll discuss the importance of keyword research and content creation a bit more in the following sections.

Competitor Sites

I used Ahrefs to find their top organic competitors. In the table below, you can see 10 of US Insurance Agents’ top competitors.

Many of them are not wholly dedicated to insurance. For example, Reviews.com is a general review site that has a good deal with insurance information on it:

CompetitorsDomain RatingAhrefs RankTotal BacklinksTotal KeywordsTotal Traffic
https://clearsurance.com54432,74029,56257,125182,751
https://expertinsurancereviews.com323,019,59515,14864,02767,345
https://autoinsurance.org431,074,94526,09757,20437,850
https://insuranceblogbychris.com46870,06312,13342,36139,822
https://policygenius.com7252,45439,247388,971414,349
https://cover.com58299,3264,41533,44926,975
https://consumersadvocate.org7343,21294,878268,330317,935
https://valuepenguin.com7721,645239,7581,069,9091,781,275
https://freeadvice.com7349,6222,309,134367,239369,270
https://reviews.com7721,212368,1861,457,1211,868,070

How They Get Traffic

According to SimilarWeb, the bulk of their traffic comes from search with a little bit of direct traffic as well.

building insurance affiliate site

This definitely makes sense- insurance is a very dry niche and there isn’t likely to be much social opportunity here.

Ads?

I used Ahrefs to dig up some ads that are running for the term insurance review. There were a lot of them- below you can see a screenshot of some examples:

insurance ad examples

When it comes to ads, you’ll want to make sure that you’re playing by the rules.

I’m not entirely sure what Google Ads’ policies are regarding insurance keywords, but that is something I would investigate before starting a campaign. It’s also important that you figure out how to do tracking properly and define conversion so that you aren’t flying blind.

I’ve seen a lot of sites run traffic to a ‘top 10’ type list (I’ve got a screenshot below of this type of landing page).

For example, bidding on the keyword “best health insurance” and pushing traffic to a page that rank orders the best options. I imagine the cost per click would be pretty high- so it would be a game of art and math to get the margins profitable.

How They Make Money

Interestingly, US Insurance Agents doesn’t seem to be running any ads on their website. Instead, they have a call to action banner across their site for a free insurance quote (#1) and an affiliate link to the website (#2). You can see both in the screenshot below:

insurance affiliate programs

Once you click that, you’re directed to a landing page with a variety of different Insurance programs (Geico, Progressive Insurance, Esurance, Pretected, Insured Nation, Rate Fetcher & Best Auto Insurance) you can get your free quote from. These are all obviously affiliate links:

insurance quote affiliate programs

What I Would Do

I would use GoDaddy to search out a brandable domain name. You can read my guide on selecting brandable domain names – I’d want something catchy and modern-looking.

Keyword Research

I would spend a lot of time doing keyword research to figure out the type of content to create that gets traffic.

Specifically, I would use Ahrefs or SEMrush to see what the top websites in the insurance niche are ranking for.

Content Styles

I would also examine the style of content that is ranking.

For example, the U.S. Insurance Agents website primarily ranks using user-generated content, i.e. all the user reviews:

all state reviews

A new website isn’t going to get a lot of user traction. So I would look through the keywords and begin creating long-form reviews of these different insurance agencies and insurance types, incorporating feedback from user reviews on other websites.

In addition, you can publish public information like support numbers, mailing addresses and other information people are searching for.

This helps make your page more usable, which should help with rankings. Many sites create handy knowledge boxes containing this information at the top of the page- this gives the content a premium feel.

I would also figure out a way to solicit user reviews.

I profiled Pissed Consumer– which does both knowledge boxes and user review solicitation really well.

You can build out custom forms and solicit user reviews on your website, even linking to them from social media. That way you can begin to curate a flow of user-generated content.

Monetization

In terms of monetization, I would wait until the site is getting at least 50 to 100 unique users a day before applying to an insurance affiliate program.

If you apply too soon before your site has significant traffic, you might not be approved or you might be removed from the affiliate program because you’re not sending any traffic.

I would use an affiliate link tracking plugin like Thirsty Affiliates to manage my affiliate links and even automatically link keywords across my sight to different insurance programs.

There are a lot of high cost-per-click keywords in this niche, so I would look to get into an ad network like AdSense once I had around 100 uniques a day.

Secondary Traffic Sources

I would also consider creating YouTube content. YouTube can be a powerful secondary or even primary traffic source I’ve been either direct linking to the Insurance affiliate program or pushing traffic back to your website.

Here’s an example of a popular car insurance video:

Summing Up

I think that this is a pretty competitive niche and Google might scrutinize sites competing in this vertical more strongly than in other niches- plus you need to be aware of lead provider regulatory issues.

I do think that with decent volume of traffic, you could see good ad revenue for these high CPC terms. I would want to examine the different affiliate programs to really understand how lucrative the payouts actually are.

As well, if you go into the ShareASale or CJ Affiliate networks, they do provide some performance metrics. That way you do have some insight into anticipated conversion capability.

Ranking For TV Episodes: How To Make A Living Writing About Reality TV

ranking for tv episodes

Recently I’ve been binge-watching Kitchen Nightmares on YouTube. It’s one of my favorite shows.

Gordon Ramsay, the famous British chef, tours failing restaurants in the United States and the United Kingdom, and conducts a rapid-fire intervention with outrageous and hilarious results.

After every episode, I look up the restaurant online to see what happened to it- whether the restaurant was able to succeed or forced to close down.

I always encounter the same site in the search results- Reality TV Revisited:

relaity tv revisited site stats

The site, and others like it, provides updates about the restaurants featured in the show. It’s quite handy and I often end up going directly to the site and typing in the restaurant’s name for a quick update.

It gave me the idea for this next niche report. There are a variety of websites out there that provide episode guides for different TV shows.

I’ve written about the TV niche before, but in this niche report, I’m going to examine sites that focus on episode guides to see how they get traffic and make money.

Keyword Research

I used Ahrefs (you can do the same keyword research with SEMrush on a two-week free trial for my audience) to extract the top 1,000 ranking keywords for the Reality TV Revisited website:

You can see some common themes here.

This website really seems to specialize in restaurant reality television.

You can see that they rank for restaurant names “hot potato cafe”; update queries like “bar rescue updates”; restaurant names + show names like “sebastian’s kitchen nightmares”; and season/episode searches “hell’s kitchen season 18”.

 

There’s definitely a lot of organic keyword potential here. As well, the brand name of the restaurant gets traffic searches from people who watch the television show and also people who have never seen the show but are looking to eat there- so the traffic is somewhat twofold.

I also took a look at some of the site’s top-ranking keywords and filtered it down by the keyword “Ramsey” to show you how many micro searches there are for “Ramsey” terms.

Keep in mind, the site itself ranks for much larger terms but this serves to illustrate just how thirsty the organic search market is for good content here

ramsey keywords

 

Top Competitors

I used Ahrefs to find some of its top organic competitors. Below you can see six different sites that have significant organic keyword overlap.

There’s even a Blogspot website with nearly 33,000 organic keywords. That’s a definite indication of how weak the SERPs are.

The exact match domain kitchennightmaresupdates.com is pulling in a respectable 9,500 organic keywords with estimated traffic of nearly 56,000 visits a month:

#TargetDomain RatingTotal BacklinksTotal KeywordsTotal Traffic
1https://kitchennightmaresupdates.com12549,56755,283
2https://realitytvupdates.com03285,01225,746
3https://gazettereview.com6665,047674,4231,169,841
4https://grubstreet.com813,050,631805,641480,998
5https://reelrundown.com4917,128864,9241,270,132
6https://bostonrestaurants.blogspot.com4285,16132,69519,334

What I would do

Niche Scope

I would spend some time determining the scope of my website.

For example, maybe you want to start a Bachelor fan blog. There’s definitely a lot of traffic for this show, but if the series ends and all of your content (and domain name) is related and restricted to the Bachelor, you might have painted yourself into a corner.

Maybe instead the focus of your site could be reality romance television and the Bachelor is a significant content silo.

In addition, you might want to provide more information than just episode guides.

It’s likely that when you entered into a TV niche like this you’ll find tremendous search volume for the actors’ names, their character names on the show, searches for their Instagram profile, who their spouses are, and a bunch of similar miscellany you can get traffic for.

Structure

When it comes to season and episode guides, you’ll also want to figure out a logical structure.

You might want to employ a directory theme with some built-in features to help organize your content.

Maybe you use WordPress Categories and Tags to organize seasons and episodes. For reference, Vulture.com has an attractive layout for their X-Files episode guides.

You can see the meta information box in the top right corner of this particular episode guide’s landing page. It lets you click through to the next episode and you can see it contains the actual name of the episode:

xfiles series episode guide

Wikipedia also has some detailed episode guides– but you can see they are structured very differently with all of the episodes published on to a single page with deep internal links.

wikipedia episode guides

There are different ways you can structure the site. I would suggest experimenting with this a little bit to see what produces the best results in terms of user engagement and organic traffic acquisition.

Keyword Research

I would use Ahrefs or SEMrush to examine the organic keyword rankings of different sites that are publishing these TV episode guides.

You’ll probably want to start publishing information on low difficulty / highly searched terms.

On the other hand, since this could be a passion project for you, you might want to start creating content on the shows that you like. It’ll probably be a lot more fun for you to do that.

Though, as always, you don’t want to neglect keyword research.

One interesting aspect here that I’ve noticed is that people will often look up the episode by a Season # Episode # search and/or by its true name. So your SEO would definitely need to optimize for that.

Landing Pages

I would also research the different types of landing pages sites are using.

I touched on this a bit before because it plays into your site structure, but you’ll want to figure out a template to use to give your site a consistent feel, positive user engagement, and maximum SEO benefit.

There are SEO benefits to producing long-form content on these different episodes, as opposed to doing what Wikipedia does and essentially republishing duplicate content, with each episode listed out on a single page.

That could work- I don’t know. The only way to tell is by publishing it and seeing how your site ends up ranking for all the terms.

What I Like

Fun Niche

This could definitely be a fun niche to enter.

People are passionate about these TV shows.

And nowadays even when a show ends they get a second life on streaming platforms including free ones like YouTube. Case in point, Kitchen Nightmares is as popular as ever even though it ended in 2014:

Low Competition / High Search

One of my favorite things to look for when entering into a blogging niche is seeing lots of low competition keywords with high search volumes. That’s definitely what you’ll see here.

What I don’t like

Limited monetization

There aren’t many affiliate opportunities in a niche like this. Sure you can try linking to the show on Amazon Prime Video- But the payouts are pretty minor (Source). You’ll have to make do with running ads on your site- which can be great, but will take some time to get going.

Content Costs

This one could go either way. You could easily rewrite existing content about the shows, but if you’re a devotee, higher-quality content will be expensive.

Mainly because someone might need to actually watch the episode to create insightful content about it.

You might want to check out Reddit. One of my favorite TV shows Animal Kingdom, for example, always has robust and interesting discussions on a dedicated subreddit after every single episode. It could be a great place to find writers and content inspiration when it comes to creating episode guides.

Summing Up

This can be a fun and lucrative niche. You likely will have to monetize with display ads. This can take a while to get going. But the advantage is that there’s a lot of search volume and not a lot of competition for these ‘non buyer’ type keywords.

How To Promote Credit Repair Affiliate Programs

Credit Repair Affiliate Programs

In this post, I’m going to discuss some credit repair affiliate promotional strategies.

What Is Credit Repair?

According to Credit Karma, “Credit repair companies often promise to help remove negative items from your credit reports, in exchange for a fee. You can take the same steps yourself without the fee.”

Credit Repair Affiliate Programs

Below are some of the most popular credit repair affiliate programs.

This is not an exhaustive list.

I recommend that you do your own due diligence.

For example, my instinct would be to try to find the best converting option rather than the highest paying option.

In my experience, it’s better to push traffic to things that convert, even if they have a lower payout, than pushing traffic to affiliate programs with higher payouts but inferior performance.

  1. Reliant Credit Repair: 40% commission
  2. Progrexion
  3. ERA Credit Services: “$100 and residual on a monthly basis on each client”
  4. Credit Repair Agents: $5-$50 per sign up
  5. My Fico: $5-$100 per sign up
  6. Flex Offers (this is an affiliate network- they have a bunch of programs)

There is a range of different affiliate programs available- though some of the affiliate signup pages look suspiciously outdated.

I would be inclined to work through a well-known network like Flex Offers. That way I could compare the offers within the network and potentially get support from an affiliate manager regarding which ones to promote.

Plus, I’m generally more confident in the integrity, reporting and tracking capabilities of an established affiliate network than an independent affiliate program.

My Advice

To get a sense of how to promote these credit repair affiliate programs, I took a look at one of the top-ranking websites: CreditRepair.com.

I used Ahrefs to examine its top 1,000 organic keywords. This will help you determine what content ranks and ultimately converts people on credit repair offers:

Obviously, that’s on the organic side of things. There are a lot of people running ads in this niche- that’s an entirely different ballgame.

Although, the keywords I’ve listed out below can also help if you are doing pay per click advertising, which is a more aggressive style of affiliate marketing.

As you can see in the keyword research table, there is a range of different types of keywords. Whenever I look at keyword research, I like to break them down into different themes. Here we can see keyword seems clustering around concepts like:

  1. Credit repair (duh!)
  2. Credit bureaus
  3. Credit repair costs
  4. Specific credit scores (i.e., “690 credit score”)
  5. Credit dispute letters
  6. Credit score questions (i.e., “what is a good credit score for a college student”)

From a content marketing perspective, there are some good opportunities here.

For example, the keyword search “tri merge credit report” gets 800 searches a month, has a keyword difficulty of 2, and a cost-per-click of $15. And the creditrepair.com landing page is getting 1,000 visits a month from organic traffic, according to Ahrefs.

There’s definitely a lot of high cost-per-click opportunities here. This means that if you’re able to generate enough organic traffic, this could be a great display advertising opportunity.

In terms of generating organic traffic, I recommend producing 1,500+ word articles that definitively cover the keyword topic.

Long-form content is going to naturally capture many of the long-tail keyword searches. If you need inspiration, head over to NerdWallet – they are essentially the authority when it comes to content-marketing financial products.

Backlinks

If you’re doing SEO and want to rank, you will need to get some backlinks.

You can check out my Backlink Breakthrough course. It’s essentially an advanced guide to reverse guest posting.

Or you can check out whitehat guest posting services from Authority.Builders and DFY Links. Besides the purchase price of my course, my link building strategy prioritizes no-cost link building.

However, it can be a little bit of a daily grind to do.

If you just want to have all the backlinking done for you, I would check out the two done-for-you link building services. They are not inexpensive, but high-quality links, especially in a competitive SEO landscape like this, will help to get your rankings kick-started.

Local SEO?

There are even some local SEO opportunities- check out the screenshot below where I search for “Brooklyn credit repair”.

local seo for credit repair

You can see that the Keywords Everywhere tool is estimating that this specific query gets 70 searches a month.

You could experiment with creating some micro-targeted landing pages for different areas or even buying ads in different locations. You might be able to discover a solid arbitrage opportunity in different locations.

Doing PPC

I used Ahrefs to see how many ads are running for the term “credit repair”. They found over 1,100 different ads.

The screenshot below shows some of the top performers. You can use Ahrefs to brainstorm different ad creative and also see what landing page is the top ad buyers are driving traffic to:

credit repair ads

What I would do

There’s definitely an ethical responsibility here- I wouldn’t want to push traffic to affiliate offers I don’t believe in.

If Credit Karma is correct, users can actually do a lot of this credit repair themselves without spending any money.

That said, you could create some organic content and run ads on it- that would be a bit more ethical than pushing traffic to affiliate offers that users really aren’t best served by.

Combining Organic, Social, Paid + Email Marketing

Content Harvesting Example

If I were comfortable promoting credit repair affiliate programs, I’d probably consider a mixture of organic content marketing, social media (YouTube), pay per click advertising and automated email marketing.

I would analyze the keyword research, group the keywords into different content clusters, and then produce long-form, authoritative content designed to rank in the search engines for those keywords concepts.

I would then harvest that content to create social media creative that I could distribute across all of the different platforms.

I might specifically investigate YouTube – you can get a lot of traffic from YouTube organically.

(Here’s an example of a YouTube credit repair video with a lot of views)

So it would be worth figuring out how to produce video content on the platform.

Maybe you do screen shares discussing your blog posts. Or you can use video creation tools to produce slide share style videos.

If done correctly slide share videos can get a lot of traffic. Obviously, you’ll want to push traffic from YouTube back to your website or to the affiliate offer directly.

I would also make sure that I have email lead capture set up right from the start. You can set up an autoresponder that circulates all of your content marketing to your list pretty easily.

Affiliate Ad Creative

There are a bunch of ways you can experiment pushing traffic to the affiliate offer.

I use the Thirsty Affiliates WordPress plugin and automatically affiliate-link certain keywords across my entire website.

You can also design some visual, calls-to-action and use a WordPress plugin like Ad Inserter to automatically insert images into all of your content at specified placements. Just look at what Credit Karma uses to push traffic to its free credit score page:

credit karma affiliate cta

Display Ads

As you can see in the keyword research table, there are some really high cost per click keywords you can optimize for.

This will be great for display ad opportunities.

Once I got around 100 visitors a day, I would consider applying for AdSense and experiment managing my own ad placements or use their Auto Ads feature to automatically integrate AdSense ads into the financial content.

Once I had three successive months of 25,000 monthly page views, I would apply to Mediavine. It is the display advertising network I use and in my experience they have better CPMs than what I can manage on my own.

Summing Up

There’s definitely a lot of opportunity in this financial niche. Generally, financial terms are pretty competitive to rank for, get a lot more scrutiny from Google, and have a lot of ad buyers vying for traffic.

I would recommend a holistic approach, combining organic, social, email and paid to build up recurring traffic.

Once I have some traffic to play around with, I would experiment with different affiliate offers and different methods of promoting it.

I would spend a lot of time analyzing what the other top sites are doing in terms of how they get traffic; promote their offers on their website and through their email and social platforms; and run some structured split tests to figure out the best method for my own website.

How To Start A Book Blog That Makes Money

starting a book blog

If you are thinking about starting a book blog, I’m going to give you some practical advice and show you what the big sites are doing to succeed and make big money.

(For credibility’s sake: my portfolio of websites is making over $65,000 a month.)

A lot of the content out there demonstrating how to start a book blog run you through the remedial stuff like installing WordPress and choosing a hosting plan.

That stuff’s obvious- there are a million YouTube videos you can watch if that’s what you’re looking for.

I’m going to skip all that and dive into the nitty-gritty of how successful book blogs like Good Reads and Publisher’s Weekly get traffic and monetize that traffic for passive income profit.

Just check out some of these insane traffic and ranking stats for Good Reads:

goodreads stats

Video Overview

Check out my video overview of the book blog niche:

Keyword Research

To give you an idea of what a successful book blog looks like I examined Good Reads’ keywords (what they rank for in the search engines):

You can see that they rank for a variety of different types of keywords.

  1. They rank for book titles like “Ready Player One”;
  2. Author names like “Stephen King”;
  3. Literary genres like “erotica”;
  4. Quote queries like “godfather quotes”;
  5. and book recommendation queries like “best fantasy books”.

These are some of the primary themes.

Digging deeper, I filtered this keyword research by the query “Memoirs of a Geisha“. You can see that there are a variety of subtopics you can optimize your content for. These include searches related to quotes, PDFs, reviews, and ‘setting’:

memoirs of a geisha keywords

Getting The Traffic

I used SimilarWeb to get a sense of where Good Reads traffic comes from. As you can see in the screenshot below, they get over half of their traffic from search, a third of their traffic from users who come directly to the website and the rest of the traffic is pretty marginal by comparison- but doubtless is pretty significant on its own.

good reads traffic stats

A big brand like Good Reads will get a lot of direct traffic because it’s pretty famous and produces great content. If you’re starting your own book blog, getting this type of brand awareness takes an incredibly long amount of time and effort if it ever happens.

But if you get .001 of the traffic they get you’d be making several thousand dollars a month, just doing some back of the napkin math.

How They Make Money

Below, you can see a screenshot of Publishers Weekly’s review of Memoirs of a Geisha.

They have a modest write up reviewing the book surrounded by several ad units (2, 3, 4, 5) And affiliate call to action “Buy this book” and at the bottom of the post and Audible preview that is likely an affiliate link (6).

pbweekly geisha review

When it comes to running ads, generally the best-performing ads are those that are placed inside of the content.

So this is not even ideally optimized for advertising revenue. But, it’s a good example of a cleanly formatted website with quality content that is monetized by display advertising and affiliate links.

You don’t need to format your site to look exactly like this, you can get by with a simpler design to start as you get your druthers running a WordPress blog

What I Would Do

how to make money with a book blog

If I were trying to create a profitable book blog, I would focus on six things.  I would concentrate on keyword research, content quality, the site’s user experience, social, a publishing process, and monetization.

1. Keyword Research

Keyword research is vitally important. Most websites get the bulk of their traffic from organic search.

This means that You’ll want to optimize your content to be discovered by the search engines. If you take a look at the keyword research table, you can see a variety of keywords that Good Reads ranks for- Ahrefs also lists the keyword difficulty of each keyword.

The main idea is that you should target lower competition keywords with decent search volumes when you are starting your book blog.

I generally recommend writing 1,500+ words for each post. Google clearly prioritizes long-form content in the search engine results page.

2. Content Quality

If you’re trying to start a book blog, obviously you’ll want to produce high-quality content for your readership. Maybe you are doing the writing to start, but over time you’ll probably want to outsource some of the writing responsibilities.

Your readership is likely to have high-quality literary standards- though I should say that if you target really low competition keywords, you don’t always need to have an amazing quality writing to rank in Google search.

However, the quality of your content is an important variable that feeds into the next criteria I would focus on.

3. User Experience

Nowadays, search engines examine user experience to determine where you rank.

For example, if Google sees that people aren’t staying on your site for very long or they are pressing the back button and visiting an alternative website to get better information than what you provide, your site will not rank well.

You’ll want to give readers a reason to stay, which means the content should be good, it should be attractively formatted, the site should load reasonably fast. Make it a site that you yourself would want to read.

To get an idea of what a quality literary blog looks like, visit some of your favorites and see how they format their content. Try emulating some of their style early on- particularly if you are a novice internet marketer.

I would focus on producing long-form, high-quality, keyword-targeted content. Maybe I specialize in a genre of books like Mystery, Science Fiction, True Crime and profile authors and produce lengthy book reviews.

One of the smartest things you can do is create a mind map that will help you structure your site and plan the content creation process. Below, is a mind map that I created for the tennis niche. You can see how I brainstormed different content concepts.

Try doing this for your prospective book blog:

Tennis MindMeister Mind Map.png

4. Social

While organic traffic typically comprises the primary traffic source for most websites, it’s also a good idea to experiment with social media.

If you’re trying to start a book blog, you might even be predominantly focused on social media traffic. One thing I would recommend, whenever you publish a new post on your website, consider converting it into social media content for all the major platforms.

You can use a tool like Stencil to quickly create graphics and publish them to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest. You can also authentically engage on social media platforms. I wrote a Twitter case study where I did 10 real Twitter comments a day for 30 days.

You can definitely drive traffic and build up an audience for a new site more quickly with social media than through organic search.

What I mean, it can take a long time for Google to feed your site traffic from its platform. That’s why if you focus on a social media channel you can definitely experience some quicker wins than waiting for the search engines to drip feed you some traffic.

5. Discover A Process

It might feel overwhelming when you first start your book blog.

However, the best thing I can advise is to create a process that you stick to. Maybe you write one book review a week and share it with customized graphics to all of the different social media platforms. On top of that, maybe you engage in conversations about the book on social media.

For example, if you do a review of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, you can search that keyword on Twitter and discuss the book there.

Twitter is so rife with spam and bot traffic that when somebody actually engages authentically it’s pretty rare.

I know that whenever my content is retweeted or someone says something in reply to my Tweet, I get a notification on my phone and I always open up the app and check out who the user is.

You’re not confined to Twitter, either- you can go on Quora and Reddit as well. Whatever process you decide to use, give yourself a timeline and stick to it.

Maybe you set a goal for yourself of getting 50 visits a day for a week in a row by the end of 90 days.

6. Monetization

To make money with a book blog the two primary avenues will be affiliate marketing and display ads.

Affiliate marketing will get you quicker wins than display advertising because you’ll need a lot more traffic to see significant revenue from a display ad network like AdSense.

Since ad revenue is generally calculated on a CPM or cost per thousand impression basis, imagine your book blog gets you $10 CPM on the ads you’re running, you would need a thousand visitors a day to be making roughly $300 a month.

On the other hand, with affiliate marketing, you don’t need nearly as much traffic to generate that revenue.

For example, Amazon is currently providing a 4.5% commission rate on physical books and a range of different bounty payments for people purchasing an Audible book or sign up for a free or paid Audible plan.

If you’re able to get 100 people to buy one $10 book apiece, that would be $45 in commission.

I would recommend beginning with affiliate marketing and inserting Amazon or other bookseller affiliate links into your book reviews.

You can also begin collecting emails and marketing your book reviews to your subscriber list. Once you have some decent traffic- maybe around 250 visitors a day, I would consider running ads on the website.

AdSense even has an Auto Ads feature which will automatically integrate their ad units into your website.

Summing Up

I like this niche for several reasons. A book blog can be a fun passion project that generates you a decent income if you are committed to executing on it.

There are probably easier ways to make money online reviewing higher ticket items, but the advantage to a book blog is that presumably you are passionate about the topic. A lot of people who want to make money blogging don’t have the stamina or willpower to start sites they aren’t passionate about.

That’s why I generally advocate novice internet marketers begin blogging on content that interests and excites them while maintaining a practical approach to traffic acquisition.

Oftentimes people start blogs without understanding the basics of traffic acquisition. If you want to succeed online, it’s essential that you have a coherent strategy and process to both acquire traffic and monetize it.