Case Study: The Ultimate Affiliate Marketing Challenge 2016

Affiliate Marketing casestudy


Two weeks ago, I found this awesome Facebook group about an affiliate marketing challenge. I contacted the owner (Patrick Mahinge) with an idea of making it a competition of sorts. I thought this would be a great challenge since it would give me the push I really needed to start this blog. I’ve also been procrastinating on so many other projects that I’d given priority this year. I talked to one of my partners, Kevin and decided this would be the best way we could give back to the local community and also do something that would change how we work. The challenge is some sort of case-study on amazon affiliate site from inception to when the site starts earning some decent income.

Niche research

Without any further ado, let the game begin

I started off with deciding the niche that I’d go after then bought my domain. Here is my process:

Most of the Keywords on Amazon are Keywords that contain phrases with buyer intent. This are terms with the words “review, buy, best and comparison” in them. So the first thing I do I come up with an idea I like then I list them on a notepad after which I do a further research on them. This could be anything like table, furniture, chair, camping and many more ideas. In my case I went with water as my seed word. Seed word meaning the phrase that I’ll use to generate niches that I like. I later use any Keyword tool to generate more niche Ideas.

Without going further I’ll introduce you to the keyword tools that I use.

  • Longtail pro (paid)
  • Keyword planner (Free)
  • Kwfinder ( Free and paid)
  • Keyword revelear (Paid)
  • SEMrush (Free and Paid)

Look out for their review on my upcoming post.

Keyword Research

From my seed word I was able to find soft water and further exploring I found a Keywords I really liked that was “best water softener and water softener reviews ”. The reason I liked them was that the competition was something that I could beat and the search volume was quite good. From this I could do two things. Explore the sites that are ranking for these terms and find out which other Keywords they’re ranking for. SEMrush is really helpful in doing this. The keywords I find from there, I further use them as my seed Keywords and throw them on keyword planner. So I’ll eventually end up with a list of 800+ Keywords to go through. Before I finally decide if the keyword is worth going after, I should be able to analyze the competition and the search volume. It’s rather obvious a keyword is not really worth anything if no one is searching for it. So, it’s always good to go after keywords with good search volumes, in my case 1000+ search volume. This means more money, if you’re able to rank the site. With the Keyword list, I’ll rinse and repeat the same process I highlighted earlier. You’ll notice the list include keywords with low search volume. It’s totally ok. These are the keywords we call longtails mostly coming from the main Keywords and they can really generate some traffic before your site ranks for the main keyword.

So how do I eliminate the keywords I do not need? Simple. I check the top 10 sites ranking for that particular keyword and make sure I have at least five sites that I can easily beat. These are sites that have a page authority (PA) of 50+ and Domain Authority of greater than 75. I also do avoid SERPs with huge shopping sites like Amazon and ebay. So now that I have my Keywords ready, I’ll just group them and find out which keywords to target for a particular article. So basically I start planning my article just after getting the right keywords. So most of the time I’ll have like 20-50 Keywords that I’ll use in my main article.

Why do we target so many KWs on pages?

  1. a) It makes back-linking easier b) because its a better user experience c) because Panda is a bitch d) Google is definitely favouring broad articles that thoroughly cover the topic.

Note:  I Only work in keywords if they can be included in an article naturally. Ask yourself, would a real authority site do this? If not, then probably including them, would not be natural enough.

What is the maximum number of keywords that can be targeted on a page?

The answer is “ as much as I can fit them before making the content unnaturally cluttered”. It’s rather obvious you can only use 1-3 in the Title, because your title should not be too long and the fact that it needs to read well to the user. Then you can also target more of your Keywords on the sub-titles. Lastly the rest could be used within the content.

Choosing My domain Name

There are three main types of domain name in SEO world:

  • Brandable domain
  • Exact Match Domain
  • Partial Match Domain

Exact match domains: are simply the domain names that are derived from the main keyword phrases. For example, if your site is about iPhone cover reviews, the domain name would simply read This used to work a while ago, but after some algorithm changes in 2012, Google started penalizing such sites for spammy urls and they nolonger work as well. If you decide to go for such domains, always be careful not to over-optimize your urls.

Partial Match domains: As the name suggests the domain name have some aspect of the main keyword in it, but not as direct as the EMDs. For example, iPhone cover reviews as our main keyword in the previous example. A domain like would be a partial match domain. Notice, we have used a synonym to change it a little bit. They work well but can never be expanded to accommodate more topics.

Brandable domains: This is the key to creating an authority in your niche. This is because, mainly because it’s longterm. Why do I say so. When you want to build an authority in your niche you’ve to stay clear of EMDs and PMDs. You’ll never find an authority with a name like Brandable domains are names that have the legs to outgrow the current trends. One of the main advantages of using a branded domain is that Google tends to give it some brand signal, which could be a boost to your site.

Read more about the EMDs, PMDs and Brandable domain, look out for a more comprehensive post on choosing your domain in my future post.

Once I have my names ready, I head to my registrar, either namesilo or namecheap and register my domain. A domain has to be hosted for it to be useful and for this project I’m using hostgator.



Week one and two:

  • Niche and Keyword research
  • Domain purchase and hosting
  • Creating the site
  • Content writing
  • Social profiles
  • Onpage SEO

To be continued…