How to build a niche affiliate site from the ground up?

First find the right products to put yourself in, then build a site that maximizes SEO and conversion and ultimately monetize it well. Three basic but not necessarily obvious steps for anyone who wants to start affiliating.

Membership works well. Despite the implementation of cookie banners in 2021 making tracking more difficult, the industry grew by 9% in 2021And the Help especially through solidarity between players, according to the 2022 Membership Barometer.

In this context, it may be wise to create a niche site to take advantage of promising product launches or to make its expertise profitable in a particular sector. Here’s how to do it step by step.

Niche sites are an excellent affiliate lever. They bring in fewer visitors but these are more qualified. To find a suitable niche, it is possible to choose between a product approach and an experience approach.

product approach

Product approach is to search for a profitable niche. “It’s the way you improve the business and make the most money possible,” says Romain Pirotte, founder of Impulsion SEO. It comes to the search for new promising products.

“NFTs, cryptocurrencies, or SAAS programs are products that currently work well,” explains Fabian Racodel, an SEO consultant who specializes in affiliation. The membership scale indicates very good performance in the beauty, hygiene, health, food, high-tech, and home and garden sectors. Specifically, the high-tech sector is “growth well again, with (…) particularly visible in second-hand offerings”.

One way to find products can be through platforms. “The Affilae Network works with small businesses that need to advertise their products. This can be an opportunity to find suitable ideas,” Fabien Raquidel slips. It may also be a good idea to follow the social media accounts of companies that interest you, such as Instagram and Tiktok, the consultant adds. “They do not hesitate to launch their new products on these channels.”

Some affiliates even import products or software from the United States. The JVZoo affiliate platform, for example, offers a number of innovative online programs. The idea is to bet on the fact that what worked in the United States has a chance to work in France.

Expert Approach

It’s also possible to “start with a passion to find a niche in a nearby topic,” Romain Beirut explains. “Besides having a profitable idea, it’s easier to work from a topic that excites us.”

answer a need

Ultimately, regardless of the approach chosen, the affiliate often has the response to a deficiency. “The success of my clients almost always depends on the fact that they responded to the needs that they experienced in their sector,” explains Fabian Racodel. Building content in this sense to overcome this deficiency can lead to the gradual building of society. The opportunity later for the affiliate to share products related to the topic.

“Be careful, however, to offer only the highest quality products, to prolong the trust of members of the community,” warns Grant Olsen, Associate Creative Director at CHG Healthcare. “You should always protect your reputation. It’s only about providing products and services that meet your standards.”

Three criteria for validation

Once you have chosen the right niche, the next step is to check if it is promising. Romain Pirotte explains: “There are three main criteria that make it possible to check this: low competition, good pay, and low search volume.” “This last element allows, for example, to position itself more easily.”

After finding the right place, comes the stage of creating the site. Creating a niche site is not much different from a “classic” site. Hosting, domain name and CMS are still essential, of course.

What tools to get started?

It might be interesting to go through a French speaking host, to take advantage of an IP address in France. Even if many of these representatives are hosting IP addresses outside of France. For example, French host OVH offers hosting and domain name for 3.59 to 7.19 euros per month including taxes. There are other host alternatives, such as o2switch, Hostinger, or PlanetHoster.

To build and manage the site, WordPress is easily required. In addition to its ability to be a good reference, this CMS contains a number of tools that have been adapted to belonging. The EasyAzon plugin makes it easy to create affiliate links for Amazon, for example. On the other hand, the ThirstyAffiliates plugin allows you to create cleaner URLs, manage central links and track them to see their performance. It also allows management of the unfollow attribute. Useful for hiding links from Google, but not from users of course. Note that hiding the link is not prohibited. On the other hand, the Pretty Links plugin allows to customize links and track each click to get information about their origin, browser, operating system and referring sites.

It may take several months to create the site. It generally takes between three and six months to be in good shape…if it’s quality.

Of course, SEO is essential to attract users. Using Google Suggest is an interesting technique. According to Romain Pirotte, this tool offers highly sought-after keywords, which are not necessarily taken into account by the competition, unlike keywords that are generally found in “classic” SEO tools, such as Google Adword or SEMRush. This way of doing things allows you to quickly put yourself on the orders.

Analysis of the best ranked pages allows competitors to find out the most profitable products to belong. Monitoring, for example using SEMRush, a competitor’s backlinks can be valuable in understanding their strategy.

Regarding keywords, it is interesting to put yourself on the name of the product associated with the model or brand if possible. The keyword can be accompanied by ephemeral phrases such as “promotion,” “sales,” “black Friday,” or even “one day.” It is clear that these latter cases are used at favorable times.

A semantic cocoon can also be created to highlight content. Some affiliates recommend between 30 and 40 articles of at least 800 to 1000 words to establish a good standing. To set it up, several tools are available, such as AnswerThePublic, Ahrefs, or even Babbar. It allows to find questions related to the user’s intent. YourTextGuru is especially helpful in creating semantic cocoons. “It indicates, for example, how the articles are linked together,” Fabian Racodel identifies.

Affiliates with an “expert” approach can make a difference by making their profiles stand out. This allows them to respond favorably to Google’s EAT, for “experience, reliability, trustworthiness” (experience, authority, credibility). EAT is part of thousands of little algorithms that report to Google how good a web page is. According to Bill Slawski, a Google patent expert related to SEO, Mountain View has a patent that allows it to distinguish expert content from regular content.

How to organize your site

On your pages, different styles of content can be set up. This in-depth review article helps provide the reader with everything they need to know about the product in order to make an informed purchasing decision. The comparison article makes it possible to discuss different products and how they best suit a particular type of user. Tips articles allow some problems to be answered and anticipated. All of this also builds your expertise and authority in the eyes of Google.

Some affiliates, generally practicing an expert approach, can set up funnels. It’s about delivering content at every stage of the user’s journey. A medium such as an e-book or white paper can be used as funnel bait. Once the email is retrieved, the automatic email sequence is set up according to different pre-set scenarios, using software such as Mailchimp or Clickfunnels.

How to monetize your site

Affiliate amounts are generally paid according to the number of sales or leads that are brought into the affiliate. It is recommended that you are familiar with the commission rules before signing up for an affiliate program.

Should I go through a direct seller or an affiliate platform? In fact, both methods have advantages and disadvantages.

Direct selling often provides more commissions and better link tracking. The seller can also contribute to creating an affinity between the affiliate company and the affiliate program. This allows the affiliate to be directly informed of the best products. Also, direct selling does not require an “entry ticket”, as is the case on many platforms.

On the other hand, affiliate platforms connect the affiliate company with an impressive array of opportunities.. They often offer a vertical specialty with exclusive offers. The conversion rate is generally higher compared to direct sellers. The platforms are also a guarantee of trust and an assurance of on-time payment.

Another question, what is the most reasonable payment option? Roman Beirut answers: “If we only look at the number of visitors, I would say that it is without a doubt more interesting CPC.” “But in the long run, the most successful options are cost-per-action (CPA) and revenue-sharing, to be charged on a percentage basis each month on a recurring basis to clients brought in.” Note that the ideal option for many affiliates is to work in several areas, so as not to be dependent on one.

How do you track?

Most often, affiliate partners are tracked with a code to track transfers or transactions on the merchant’s website. The latter transmits to the administration the data that makes it possible to find out which subsidiary is at the origin of the transfer and possibly the amount of the transaction. So it must be well tracked to allow commission to be awarded to the affiliate. The last cookie rule is generally implemented, which consists of rewarding the affiliate site from which the last click before conversion comes.

Tracking links and their performance is monitored using custom plugins or with the affiliate platform. Keywords are monitored using tools such as SEMrush, Check-position or Yooda.

Affiliate Training: Creating Conversions in BtoB and BtoC

Leave a Comment