At the time of this writing in 2020, it doesn’t look like American Airlines has an affiliate program.
While Knoji says that there is an American Airlines affiliate program inside VigLink, I can confirm that there isn’t one.
American Airlines Affiliate Program Alternatives
First, some background about American Airlines: “American Airlines, Inc. is a major American airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, within the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. It is the world’s largest airline when measured by fleet size, revenue, scheduled passengers carried, scheduled passenger-kilometers flown, and number of destinations served.” (Source)
Affilorama has a good list of airline affiliate programs, which include:
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
While American Airlines doesn’t currently have an active affiliate program, it’s always informative and interesting to see the keywords that they rank for. Below, I examined their domain and filtered keywords that were below 15 on Ahrefs’ Keyword Difficulty scale.
This provides a pretty long list of low competition keywords that you can target on your website, even using them on social media platforms as topic ideas.
For example, one of the keywords is “main cabin extra“, which apparently refers to a higher-quality American Airlines travel experience including early boarding, extra legroom, free carry-on and more. This could easily become a fun blog post and YouTube video – YouTube is inundated with people sharing their air travel experiences.
In terms of monetizing the content, if you’re running ads on your website, you all cash in on travel display ads. However, you could pretty easily insert affiliate links to other airlines, perhaps analyzing comparable travel experiences between two different airline companies.
Another interesting keyword is “admirals club”. According to the American Airlines website, it’s “Complimentary amenities and services are available to make your travel more productive and relaxing.”
Similar to the last keyword, this could be another interesting piece of content for a website or social media account, describing the travel experience using Admirals Club and indulging in the various amenities.
The American Airlines website also ranks for a lot of different location queries including “indianapolis airport“.
This is a whole other category of content. You can see that this keyword has a difficulty of 5, but rest assured they ran them WordPress site isn’t going to overnight rank on the first page of Google for this query.
That said, if I was targeting American Airlines’ keywords, I would experiment with ranking ‘airline location’ content.
You could create a long-form article that comprehensively evaluates the Indianapolis Airport (like this one), providing directions, contact information, parking facilities, location of nearby hotels and restaurants, the list is almost endless.
Doubtless, a lot of websites are already trying to do this, but I would try my hand at producing a lot of long-form content targeting this type of keyword. And it’s quite easy to insert some affiliate links into content like this – maybe even using something like thirsty Affiliates or ad inserter to dynamically insert affiliate content across all of your different posts.
All of that said, travel is a pretty competitive space to be in. If I were going to attempt it, I would try to niche down into something that’s low competition. In addition, I would really want to have some social media influence the push traffic. A lot of people presume that the travel affiliate payouts are going to be generous- but a lot of the flight affiliate programs don’t pay that much.
According to Wikipedia, “PayPal Holdings Inc. is an American company operating a worldwide online payments system that supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods like checks and money orders. The company operates as a payment processor for online vendors, auction sites, and many other commercial users, for which it charges a fee in exchange for benefits such as one-click transactions and password memory.”
Granted, PayPal doesn’t have an affiliate or referral program currently, but it’s always instructive to take a look at the type of keywords the PayPal domain actually ranks for.
You might be running a finance blog where you are recommending alternative payment processing solutions, or maybe you just want to get traffic to your site and run ads on the content, without even trying to do any affiliate marketing.
Whatever the case, check out the keyword research that I did below. In a nutshell, I filtered the PayPal domain by URLs that contained the word “article”, which is the blog section of PayPal:
So, looking at this keyword research, there are some interesting content opportunities, whether you are writing an article for your website, shooting a video for your YouTube channel or generating ideas for your social media accounts.
One topic that seems pretty high volume and relatively low difficulty is the “PayPal fees” keyword. You could write up an article, for example, that examines the different products and services that PayPal offers and the associated fees. you’d want to keep this information routinely updated, but it could be a way to acquire some highly valuable traffic to your website.
Another interesting keyword, especially if you are in the finance or credit card niche, is the “PayPal business debit card” keyword. Financial traffic can be extremely lucrative, whether you are running display ads, doing affiliate marketing, or selling your own product.
Nerdwallet.com is a great example of a website that rakes in enormous amounts of traffic by writing highly detailed reviews of financial products, including all different types of credit cards. I would review how they write up their credit card evaluations and produce something similar for this particular keyword.
Another interesting keyword is “PayPal scams“. Obviously, this keyword goes off in a drastically different direction, but it could be an interesting piece of content. You could write up a long-form piece of content that describes the different strategies scammers use to try to get people to send the money through PayPal. Maybe you even turn into something humorous, writing up the 10 most hilarious PayPal scam fails.
Whatever the case may be, it’s always informative to evaluate the keywords that a domain ranks for. Although PayPal doesn’t have an affiliate program at the moment, you can use these keywords to brainstorm content ideas and leverage them for material to get traffic to your website or social media accounts.
You will also get access to a bunch of free stuff, and hopefully a little encouragement, too. There really are people out there just waiting to join your email list, and this short training will help you find them:
What I Like About ConvertKit
1. Modern Interface
As opposed to AWeber’s somewhat stodgy appearance, ConvertKit has a clean, modern interface.
2. Visual Automation
This is another big one.
ConvertKit makes it easy to ‘drag and drop’ complex email automations.
For example, say I want to create an opt-in form for a specific post, send those subscribers 3 emails, and then 2 days after the last email add them to another list, it’s incredibly simple to accomplish:
It’s pretty simple and it works.
Check out this video overview by ConvertKit- it’ll show you how easy these visual automations are to set up:
3. Free Migrations
ConvertKit also will do a free migration- transferring your subscribers and sequences from your current provider:
That’s enormously helpful, and something that I used when I transferred from MailChimp.
ConvertKit also makes Analytics accessible and simple. Here’s one view of an autoresponder sequence- all the relevant stats are neatly laid out alongside the specific email:
There are a variety of views you can get- whether that’s diving into individual subscribers or examining the performance at the Visual Automation level.
5. Easy Landing Pages
I don’t really use this feature- but it can be immensely useful if you want to quickly create landing pages that aren’t hosted on your site.
Say you’re running a webinar and you want to start collecting emails from a conversion-optimized landing page- you can quickly create a landing page inside of ConvertKit and instantly get a live URL to share:
You can also embed these landing pages on your website.
6. Triggers & Actions
ConvertKit lets you do some pretty advanced stuff.
I don’t personally need too much of this.
But, you can do some fancy click-triggering, for example:
So, for example, say you want to segment your list…
You want everyone who clicks a particular link to be opted in to a new email sequence- it’s simple to do.
This is great if you want to run an offer to a subset of your list. Users can click and be automatically opted-in and you don’t annoy the entirety of the list with an offer they’re not interested in.
Support is also really fast and friendly.
I haven’t had to use it often, but whenever I have, support has been very quick.
Plus, there’s always a live chat option on the website:
Things I Don’t Like
1. Form Builder
You need to build ‘forms’ to capture leads on a website- popups, content upgrades, etc.
ConvertKit lets you build forms, but the design tool isn’t that great- not nearly dynamic enough to function as a robust lead capture instrument on your website.
You don’t need to use ConvertKit’s forms on your website.
And I don’t.
The way I do it, I use lead capture tools that integrate with ConvertKit, like Convertful, Thrive Leads and Bloom, to design my popups and banner optins.
These tools are way more dynamic than what ConvertKit provides.
If I were starting all over, I’d probably test out OptinMonster to capture leads on the site and integrate it with ConvertKit.
I’ve read some good things about it- that it has outperformed a variety of other tools.
At this point, it would be a huge hassle to unwind my current lead captures, recreate them all within OptinMonster, and basically split test them…
I might do it someday.
Here’s a form building tutorial so you can get a sense of how form-building works:
The Authority Site System is a step-by-step system for launching successful affiliate & authority sites. It’s intended for beginners who want to create new sites and reach job replacement income levels. It’s always available for purchase- unlike AH Pro.
AH Pro is only available during launch periods- it’s designed for marketers who already have a blog or website and want to grow it further. Make sure you’re subscribed to my email list (there’s a signup form at the bottom of this post) to get notified when AH Pro is available.
I purchasedTASS and AH Proin 2016 and relied on their traffic/monetization strategies to scale my websites to over $65,000 monthly earnings.
Besides the course content, when you purchase The Authority Site System, you get access to their private Facebook mastermind group. It’s an invaluable repository of internet marketing knowledge. Mark and Gael are on hand- as well as a ton of other successful site owners willing to share their knowledge.
Gael and Mark routinely update both TASS and AH Pro so that their strategies remain cutting edge.
The two resources I unreservedly recommend if you’re trying to build a passive-income internet business is Ahrefs, the SEO software, and The Authority Site System.
Could you get the same information for free elsewhere?
I bet you could cobble together 75% of the information from free resources.
But it would be a disorganized mess.
I know when I was first starting out, I was so incredibly confused about the best course of action.
I had a lot of early failures that could have been avoided if I had just stuck with a workable and winning system.
Plus- you wouldn’t have access to peer support from the Facebook mastermind.
To this day, whenever I have a question about something that’s got me stumped, I search the Facebook group and usually find detailed answers from reputable marketers I know I can trust.
So, yes, it’s a lot of money.
But if you’re serious about building a profitable content site, I’d recommend investing in a proven system to ensure efficient progress towards job-replacing online income.
Are there refunds?
Yes, they offer a 30 day, no questions asked refund.
Does this work in 2020?
Yes- they routinely update the content in the course. Including a recent reshooting of their entire TASS video catalog.
Are there other costs?
Yes. You’ll have to pay to host your website, buy a WordPress theme, and invest in an SEO tool like Ahrefs (or a cheaper alternative like KWFinder). In addition, you’ll need to create content for your website- you can write this yourself or outsource it.
Is there support?
Yes, the private Facebook mastermind group is where you’ll get support from Gael and Mark. As well as other authority-site marketers. I’m in the group every day- it’s probably my 2nd or 3rd stop in the morning.
Are there discounts?
I’ve seen the price occasionally discounted- but I don’t know for sure if/when this will happen again.
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.
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.
This traffic is insanely valuable, to put it bluntly.
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.
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:
You can see a lot of different keyword themes here:
“code”, “deal”, “sale”, and “coupon” keywords
“black friday” keywords
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.
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:
reveals a code upon click and links to a category page with the code applied;
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.
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.
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:
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 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:
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).
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
You can even create a Facebook Group- that’s where I go to see the latest and best deals.
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.
Historically, my favorite broker sites, in order have been:
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.
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.
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:
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?
Interact With Seller?
Number Of Listings (11/19)
Yes (sometimes NDA required)
Requires refundable deposit to view URL
Free to join buyer network and request prospectus
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 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:
So, even if you're not losing 'rankings', per say, your website is probably losing SERP visibility, and therefore clicks.
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
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.
When it comes to 'deals', I'm evaluating sites based on their:
Profit Multiple: purchasing sites below a 36x monthly net profit multiple
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With Empire Flippers, you're going to need to put down a refundable deposit to see the site URL for sale.
With FE International, once you sign up to receive auction updates, you'll get emailed the listings with a link to request a prospectus:
MotionInvest lets you see site URLs once you sign up, so up there with Flippa in terms of accessibility.
Flippa has the most sites available for sale at any time- almost 4,000 at the time of this writing.
MotionInvest currently has 2 sites available for sale- but as a new endeavor this will likely increase over time.
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.
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.
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.
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:
MotionInvest provides screenshots from Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Majestic:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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)
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.
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
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
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
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
The Big Idea
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.)
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).
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.
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.
Additionally, they sell merchandise with the phrase/expression on them (#3):
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.