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Affiliate Marketing Case Study

[Case Study] How To Create A $20,000+ p/m Amazon Affiliate Site Like This Weird Example

Filed in Affiliate Marketing, Case Studies, Ultimate Guides & Resources by NicheHacks on January 21, 2017

Would you like to to see an example of a VERY successful Amazon affiliate site so you can copy it?

Well this WEIRD affiliate site is a GREAT example.

As not only are they a SUPER affiliate but they do it in a very unusual way.

Usually the secret to affiliate marketing is to pick great products that really solve your audiences problems so they bite your hand off to buy.

With this site they specialize in showing their audience products that are so outlandish 90% of them will never get bought....

...yet they still make an reported $20,000+ a month from Amazon as an affiliate alone which you'll learn more about below.

This case study is on $20,000+ affiliate per month site ThisIsWhyIAmBroke.com a incredibly cool site far away from the typical affiliate site.

Find out how they make an estimated $20K+ a month and how you can copy them below...

 

Disclaimer: Just in case it's not obvious I am not claiming that if you create a site like TIWIB you will be guaranteed to make $20,000 - you might but you might also make $0. It's an example of what's possible.

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)

 

What You'll Learn About This Example Amazon Affiliate Site:

  • What this website is and how you can use their strategy to make money online.
  • How they make an estimated $20K+ a month just from Amazon even though anyone rarely buys the products they feature.
  • How to build your own "niched down" version so you're not directly competing with them.
  • The "secret" owner Adam uses to give massive value to his audience and in return make more more from them without directly selling.
  • Ideas for similar style affiliate sites you can create and profit from

 

What is This Is Why I'm Broke?

This Is Why I'm Broke (TIWIB) shares unusual items, cool products and geeky gadgets across multiple categories that they find around the web.

Gadgets, wearable items, food & drink, home and office, toys and more.

 

Some of the weird stuff on sale

 

It was NOT the first affiliate website of this type.

But it was the first that really focused on user experience and engaging the visitor over just listing unusual products and trying to make money.

 

 

The Website

 

Why Was The Site Started?

The site was born in 2011 by Adam Freedman who had previously struggled to make money online with many failed ventures. (Source)

He started the site because he followed similar websites and thought he “could improve on their experience with a better website design and higher quality products presented” (Source)

For example it was the first site of it's type to use infinite scrolling.

They added humor and wit in the product descriptions.

 

An example of their quirky product descriptions

 

Spent time improving product images over Amazon's standard ones.

Carefully selected products rather than just adding anything slightly unusual.

And put a lot of thought into what order products appear on the site.

But they don't make money unless they promote interesting products.

And it's not as simple as you think.

So here's how they choose what to feature...

 

What Are They Promoting?

Unusual, cool, geeky and sometimes useless products from space invader chairs to camera lenses coffee cups to jet packs to bacon vodka.

You'll find gadgets, gizmos, gear, quirky products, concepts and more.

It includes products from big retailers such as Amazon and Ebay.

T niche stores like ThinkGeek and Firebox and sites like Etsy and Kickstarter.

Not every product  is on sale they feature any products they think have the 'wow' factor even concept products that have not yet been created.

Some of the weird products on sale

 

The reason behind this is so to create value.

If every product they feature just leads to an Amazon link it just becomes about getting affiliate link clicks rather than sourcing out and sharing unusual and cool products.

They find products to feature by signing up to the RSS feeds of 100's of different blogs and retailers around the net that feature or sell unusual products and check on a daily basis for inspiration.

And featuring products alone won't make you money.

Here's how they make money from it all

 

How Do They Make Money?

The site utilizes the Amazon associate affiliate program, Ebay Partner Network and various other affiliate programs such as Think Geek, Firebox, Wicked Lasers, Hammacher and more.

Not all products are affiliate products or even on sale.

Many simply have the wow factor that it takes to get featured.

But for Amazon, Ebay and the other retailers that they have an affiliate relation with any time someone clicks a link on TIWIB and lands on the retailers website an affiliate cookie is set.

Amazon has just a 24hr cookie, meaning your visitor has just 24hrs to buy something for you to get a commission, but other sites have much longer cookie durations.

I've mentioned before that it's estimated they make over $20K p/m on Amazon (Source).

But that's just ONE affiliate program out of scores.

Wondering how much they make it total.

You'll be amazed...

 

How Much Do They Make In Total?

An estimated $20,000+ per month from Amazon alone which accounts for 66% of their income. (Source)

So it could easily be over $50,000 in total.

This is not including income from other affiliate programs and Google Adsense.

Of course it's all speculation as Adam, the owner, won't reveal how much he makes in public.

Amazon is the main affiliate program they link to as most people will never buy the products they feature but go on to buy something more practical from Amazon which still nets them a commission.

 

Comment from TIWIB owner on Reddit

 

Another important thing for you to consider is how they turn visitors into money...

 

Why Does The Site Convert So Well?

The site is designed to get affiliate link clicks due to the large enticing images, well positioned buttons and great calls to action that send you off to the retailers websites.

 

The big enticing affiliate buttons

 

Almost everyone who visits the site will end up on a retailers site whether they planned to or not and this sets the affiliate cookie.

Even if you don't make a purchase immediately the cookie will last for a certain duration and any purchases you make throughout that time will result in an affiliate commission being paid.

And remember the products they feature are so outlandish most will never get bought.

But their business model is simply to get the affiliate cookie set and rake in commissions from the other items people DO go on to buy.

A website is nothing without traffic so let's look at that...

 

How Many Visitors Per Month?

2,800,000+ per month (Source)

 

Who Visits The Site?

Primarily men from the United States of college age. (Source)

 

How Many Social Media Followers?

Facebook: 305,000 followers
Twitter: 5,236 followers
Pinterest: 7,358 followers
G+: 11,388

The above data will change frequently and likely be far more by the time you read this.

 

6 Things That Makes TIWIB Successful

Let's look at the 6 most important things, which I believe, makes TIWIB most success.

And that you should focus on if you want to create a similar site.

 

1. Branding and a Great Name

The name is memorable, quirky and fits in with the concept of the site.

 

The logo

 

2. Cool Concept

It's not unique nor the first site of it's type.

But they put effort into the design, style and user engagement.

And the quirkiness in the content combined with the unusual products makes it a great site that people want to visit time and time again.

 

3. Great User Engagement

They engage the user with their humor and wit.

The infinite scroll feature keeps you browsing an endless amount of products.

And they get you interacting with them on social media and in the comments.

It's built with the users in mind and to give them a fun experience.

Not aimed solely at 'making money' even though it's great at making money.

 

4. Ease Of Sharing For Viral Traffic

It's designed to get people sharing the products featured which spreads the word.

 

The easy to find social buttons

 

5. Intelligent Product Placement That Makes You Go 'Wow'

Most people won't realize this but a lot of thought goes into the product placement and order on the site to keep it fresh.

For example they will place a cute animal toy next to chainsaw gun next to house gift which adds to the shock factor.

 

Comment on Reddit from TIWIB.com

 

6. It's Designed To Convert

The site is designed to entice clicks from visitors even if they don't intend to buy the product.

Instead of 'buy here' buttons they use clever copy such as 'check it out' which gets people clicking to see more and landing on the retailers page.

 

Big check it out buttons

 

They might not intend to buy anything at that point but the cookie is set and anything they buy throughout the duration of the cookie gets them a commission. 

People use Amazon to buy all sorts of products on a regular basis.

Those are the 6 things that really make TIWIB as successful as they are.

Now let's look at their traffic and the lessons you can learn from it...

 

Where Do They Get Traffic?

The traffic is driven almost entirely by social media though people sharing their content.

In the beginning they used Reddit and Stumbleupon paid ads including the legendary “Not Safe For Wallet” ad on Reddit.

 

Not Safe For Wallet Ad

 

But it didn't really kick off until someone posted about it on the first page of Reddit causing it to go viral all over the web.

This was the catalyst which caused a storm of social media sharing across all platforms which continues today.

They now do very little in the form of paid advertising or marketing.

 

Advertising on Reddit was the first thing they did

 

Instead relying on their users to share across the web on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, G+, Tumblr, Stumbleupon, forums, blogs and more.

Search engine traffic is near non existent (likely due to the short descriptions most products have). (Source)

The owner Adam has stated that their best converting traffic source is a little known link exchange network called Knowd (Source)

 

Lessons To Be Learned From This Successful Affiliate Site Example?

  • Create something that you love and that other people want or need and can get excited about.
  • Don't focus on 'trying to make money' but on a great user experience, engaging your visitor, making your site a fun / useful place for people to visit. People hate being sold to buy they love to buy.
  • Give your users a reason to return time and time again and tell their friends about it and if you've picked a solid idea that is monetizable the money will follow.
  • Continually be optimizing your site for clicks. They are split testing and making changes constantly to try and improve conversion rates.
  • Create something that has the potential to go viral across the web.
  • Don't be afraid to try an out the box business model, TIWIB make their money from featuring products very few people will ever buy!
  • There's more to the Amazon affiliate program than just creating basic product review sites and trying to rank in Google.

 

The logo

 

3 Things That Could Be Improved / Changed

Here's some changes I would implement if I was creating a site like TIWIB...

1 Email marketing - they have an email list but depending on what design they are split testing sometimes there's no email opt in on the site which is a huge mistake.

Being able to send an email out and drive traffic back to your site on demand is an affiliate websites dream.

 

2. Content marketing – they have a blog but it's often neglected for months at a time and isn't given the attention it deserves.

This could be used to draw in search engine traffic and blog readers who might not really be into the style of site This Is Why I Am Broke.com is but still like to read about gadgets and cool products.

Starting and maintaining a blog would be key.

 

3. Product Giveaways / Competitions - I could see this being a huge viral success.

Basically give away some of the products they feature in a competition where people have to share on social media to enter.

You could reach thousands of interested people and drive them back to your site.

Let's now look at ways you can create a similar site...

 

 

Ideas For Similar Sites You Can Create.

Simply trying to copy them straight up isn't the way forward unless you can better their design, improve on user engagement, write better product copyand create better images.

They do this too well for most people to compete.

There's already dozens of competitors out there doing similar such as:

 

A competitor site

 

The trick is to create a site similar but 'niched down'.

All of these sites are promoting much of the same products.

And trying to appeal to everyone and anyone with gadgets and cool things from multiple different categories.

By picking one single category and focusing just on that you could create a niche site that appeals to one type of person.

Yet still has the cool factor and viral appeal of This Is Why I Am Broke.com.

Instead of focusing on all cool products and gadgets focus just on kitchen / food & drink or home and office or unusual pet products.

Or pick a demographic like 21-30 year old males or 35+ year old women and publish things they like only.

You could create a whole site around geeky kitchen items or weird office products.

There's no shortage of products and niches that the  interactive layout would work with.

 

Examples of Niche Sites Using the TIWIB Style:

  • http://www.cool-camping-gear.com/ (Camping Gear)
  • http://whatmomslove.com/ (Parenting & Baby Care)
  • https://www.mykidneedsthat.com/ (Kids & Toys)
  • https://www.mypetneedsthat.com/ (Pet Care & Gear)

 

A "niched down" similar site

 

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)

 

Wrapping Things Up

This Is Why I Am Broke.com is a fantastic example of a clever Amazon affiliate site away from the typical 'Amazon review site' that so many internet marketers focus on.

The site isn't reliant on unpredictable search engine traffic and no matter what Google does it will not be affected.

It draws in traffic virally from social media with almost no advertising or marketing on their part.

If the numbers are true and they really make $20,000 from Amazon per month (I suspect it's higher!) then it's a golden affiliate business model.

And it can work for anyone who uses the concept and design with their own niche or range of products.

You can take one of the many categories from the site or it's many clones such as kitchen, home and office, or pet and focus solely on those or apply it to different niches completely.

Follow their lead in terms of product selection, design, user engagement, social media interaction but also put a lot of focus into list building and blogging to increase success.

Decide which is the best website hosting company for you here to start your own TIWIB.com style site here.

The only key now is to take action...

 

 

NicheHacks

To date, Stuart has revealed well over 1,500 hot niches.

He's living his dream of being location independent, and having traveled the world, thanks to internet marketing.

The aim with Niche Hacks is to help you live your dream thanks to online marketing, whatever that may be.

Tags: affiliate marketing, affiliate site examples, case study, create a site like this is why im broke, examples of profitable affiliate sites, good affiliate site, successful affiliate sites, this is why im broke, thisiswhyimbroke.com

Affiliate marketing is an effective way to monetize your website traffic because it allows you to present your visitors with offers that they are likely to be interested in. And, it has been a long-standing monetization strategy on the web.

Affiliate simply means generating revenue from traffic. Being an affiliate in the internet marketing business can be difficult. However, keeping on motivated is an important part of moving your business forward.

“You don’t find customers for your products. You find products for your customers.”- Seth Godin

That was the new strategy affiliate marketers had to hold and implement to continue to succeed.

In this case study, we’ll show how Affiliate marketing is a viable business model.

Affiliate Success Stories

Here are examples of successful websites monetized with other affiliate programs.

#1 The Wire Cutter

The Wire Cutter is one of the Internet’s favorite review sites for electronics, gadgets and consumer goods.

Today, The WireCutter focuses on doing dedicated testing and research to create in-depth and useful product buying guides to help readers pick the best products in a wide range of categories.

Since its birth in 2011, the Wire Cutter has grown into one of the top 6,000 sites online. The affiliate website was reported to be acquired for over $30,000,000 in cash by The New York Times in October 2016.

  • Founder: Brian Lam (@blam), a former Editorial Director at Gizmodo
  • Niche: Consumer product reviews
  • Goal: To help people find the best product in every user category
  • Key Challenge: To design innovative tests and select the best product possible, without being influenced by commercial interests.

Content Strategies

  • The Wirecutter’s success is clear once you read any one of their reviews. They do fun tests with products that are so good; they have a very high chance of successful in each space.
  • For example, their review of best wirless earbud headphones under $50 is on such another level that all content makers should use The Wirecutter as the premier example of what a product review piece should be.
  • Never seen a product review, or any blog post for that matter, with over 750 comments.
  • It looks like they start by reading reviews on Amazon and other major online marketplaces to narrow down the best products of a category and then they actually buy them to run their own tests to come to their own conclusion.
  • As seen in another example of the Best Home Bluetooth Speaker, this allows them to create much better, in-depth content than all of their competitors. And it works.
  • It has over 11.4k referring domains and is just about leading Google for every “best product” search terms in the gadgets and electronic space.
  • They have expanded by starting a sister site, The Sweethome, that is also doing just as well for home-focused products.

How they make money?

The Wire Cutter explains its monetization model on its “How to Support Us” page, which builds trust with their audience through transparency. They mostly make money from Amazon’s Associate program but also use affiliate programs from various other retailers and Skimlinks.

Some different tactics they use to monetize include:
  • “Best of” product pages for each category and each recommendation comes with an associated Amazon link.
  • They use quite a lot of in-content affiliate links to the recommended products throughout the article.
  • They also include a callout of their best pick at the end of the review

Key Takeaways

  • The Wire Cutter does just one thing: in-depth reviews builds trust with your audience and significantly helps improve conversions.
  • It uses a simple page with a list of best items in each category.
  • Quality > Quantity: The Wire Cutter’s tests are so innovative and extensive that manufacturers sometimes ask it for advice on how to improve their products. It also writes only 6-12 posts a month.
  • In fact testing products gives the ability to create much better content than most other niche sites allowing better opportunities for getting links, traffic, and conversions.

#2 Snapsort

Snapsort offers an online platform that allows its users to find and compare cameras by its features.

The site uses a data-driven method to produce their review and comparison content. Most of their pages are less than 1000 words but they still rank very high for their targeted keywords.

What they do basically is collecting specs and features of digital cameras on the market and then uses that data to generate side-by-side comparison pages like Canon vs. Nikon

This is different to the common approach of creating in-depth and long-form content that most people follow.

  • Founder: Alexander Black, Christopher Reid
  • Niche: Digital Camera Comparison and Reviews
  • Goal: To help people find the best digital camera by comparing with other products.
  • Key Challenge: To stand out in a niche and add credibility and trust for the user.

Content Strategies

  • They publish reviews of various digital cameras and navigating the site is easy to find what you’re looking for.
  • Using their “popular recommendations” section sorted by category makes it easy for people to find a camera based on their needs and the ultimate goal of a camera.
  • It likes to use the camera’s features as the main review standards. for example the Nikon D750 review
  • They compare these features to other cameras in its class in order to give a more accurate rating, which is a great way to rate technology.
  • Their camera vs. camera pages also attracts a ton of search traffic by ranking highly for thousands of keywords like “Nikon D750 vs. NikonD800“.
  • To attract international traffic, they provide the ability to translate the site into a total of 6 different languages.
  • Also, you can change the prices that displayed to 11 different currencies and the affiliate links change to the selected country.

How they make money?

Customers have the choice to buy the products through affiliate links to Amazon, B&H Photo-Video, and/or Adorama. They automatically change the affiliate links based on the selected country as well for more optimization.

Here are some tactics they use:
  • Affiliate links to three different online dealers giving the user the choice where to buy
  • Automatically switch links based on selected country (11 available)
  • They also accept advertising requests in various forms to extra affiliate income

Key Takeaways

  • Translating your site into multiple languages can boost income over time
  • Using custom graphics or designs builds branding and credibility
  • Finding a good way to rate and compare products can help make the user make a better choice and therefore buy
  • You don’t always need to create long-form written content in order to rank high in Google. What’s more important is the ability to help the users with exactly what they want.

#3 Smart Passive Income

Pat Flynn from The Smart Passive Income Blog, where he conducts income experiments and shares the results.

Now, Pat has multiple income streams from advertising, sponsorship and his own products, a large percentage of his income in the start and over the years is through promoting other people’s products.

  • Founder: Pat Flynn
  • Niche: Blogging, passive income, and online business
  • Goal: He reveals all of his online business and blogging strategies, income sources and killer marketing tips and tricks so you can be ahead of the curve with your online business or blog.
  • Key Challenge:  To show you what’s possible when you truly become a specialist in your market.

Content Strategies

  • He has been updating his blog pretty often with fresh content every week sharing his progress and lessons learned while building his own online business.
  • One of his first major successes was the Niche Site Duel he did with a few other bloggers in 2010. The content of the Niche Site Duel was so good it attracted tons of new traffic for him and helped solidify his place in the blogging world.
  • Around the same time, Pat started the Smart Passive Income Podcast. He has discovered the podcast is now the number one driver of new subscribers to his brand.
  • Pat’s mantra is to “be everywhere” and has used this idea to grow his audience very speedily.
  • He also has a YouTube channel he updates weekly and self-published multiple books.

How they make money?

Pat publishes all the sources of his income in complete monthly income reports.

In March 2017, Pat made $258,737.45 with a profit of $212,117.09. In specific, Pat makes most of his money as an affiliate recommending marketing products with Bluehost being the most profitable.

He also launched 2 new courses in March which contributed more than $150,000 to his total revenue.

Here are some tactics he uses:
  • He publishes product reviews and does affiliate promotions to his email list.
  • The income reports, which are some of his most popular posts, contain affiliate links
  • He also creates in-depth video tutorials teaching specific online marketing strategies while representing the tools that he uses on-screen.
  • He has a dedicated resource page in the main navigation for his top affiliate products
  • Now he is aiming more on making new software products for his audience as an additional income stream

Key Takeaways

Conclusion

There are successful affiliates out there, but these examples are crushing it. If you want to be the next eight-figure affiliate superstar, look at their business models.

Here are a couple of takeaways to get you started:
  • Huge affiliate marketing success stories take time. These sites weren’t built overnight or ripped from a spy tool.
  • You go to work with proven brands or become one.
  • You can’t just write great content. You have to be a great marketer to make it work.

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