How to do competition analysis for an Affiliate website

Affiliate marketing is by far the most popular way to make money online.affiliate marketing

I love it, popular bloggers love it, big companies love it and the earning potential is tremendous.
But since you can make a large amount of money, for obvious reasons, the competition is also fierce. Hence you need a proper strategy to succeed.

One of the popular case studies circling the internet these days is of 10beasts.com; he shared his entire strategy here: 10beasts case study

With a few articles on his websites, he is making more than $40K/month. All this took him less than one year to do. How the hell was he able to do that?

I have been making most of my money through affiliate marketing myself. I have several websites, and the majority of my income comes from selling products to my customers. In return, I get a commission. I have been doing this for almost 5 years now. So yes, I have studied this market carefully.

Building an affiliate website is easy, but driving traffic to it is the tricky part. The primary goal of any affiliate type site is to rank high in Google search results.It’s necessary you have a strong SEO knowledge.

Now ranking higher on Google for your target search term is difficult these days. It’s not like 2008-2009 when you build some shady Web 2.0 links, and few PBN Links and you are ready to go. Google algorithm has gotten smarter. Hence, you need to follow the white hat way of building links. Also, on-page SEO factors matter a lot as well. Best resource for learning about SEO – Backlinko.com

The biggest mistake people make while starting their affiliate sites is the process. They believe only their process is good.
The majority of the people think they will choose a niche which has very high search term for a product (For example Best wireless routers) and will easily get No#1 ranking. They think they will make thousands of dollars.

But, what they don’t understand is that your affiliate website is like a business and no business is started without proper research.

So this is why I will be telling you about the steps that you need to take to do competition analysis for an Affiliate website.

ahrefsSoftwares you need:
1. Ahrefs (14-day free trial available, credit card required)

That’s it. Well, few of you might be surprised, but yes I know that I am not mentioning MOZ or Majestic SEO as well.

Because Ahrefs is the best SEO tool available in the market as of now. I have been using Ahrefs, to do all my SEO for almost two years now.

What are the steps:

  • Choosing 10 niche
  • Analyzing the market and difficulty of ranking
  • Finalizing the best niche and building a website on that

Riches are in the niches

If you select a topic too broad like Technology then ranking on ut will be difficult. Also, Google gives ranking benefit to niche based websites. For example, you can create affiliate website specifically for Harddisk. You can provide the most amazing information about selecting the best Harddisk for yourself.

You can also go for search terms like best DSLR under 1000, best phone under 500, etc. These terms have high search volume, and the buyer intent level is also high. So the chances of your making more money are even higher.
niche

Check out the structure of the article, how easy I am making it for the person looking to buy a mobile phone for himself. Tables, formatting, Pros & Cons, Features, and a detailed description.

I’m not targeting a niche. I rather go for a broader technology niche. But I have content writers and an efficient SEO team working for me.

If you are alone and building the website all by yourself, sticking to a niche is the best way to go for it.

So make a list of 10 such niches which might interest you. For example

  • Harddisk
  • Knives
  • Drones
  • Protein supplement

You get the point. The price of the item must be high so that you can make good commission.

Now comes the competition part. Go through your niche one by one and check for the following parameters in Ahrefs for the websites that are already ranking for the target keywords in your niche

  • Website Rank (you can also use Domain authority from MOZ)
  • Number of backlinks to the articles that are targeted for your primary money keyword)
  • Number of pages on the website
  • Website AGE is it new or a more established website
  • On-Page SEO (Check out this guide to learn all about it On Page SEO)
  • Length of the article that is ranking are they short form or thorough and comprehensive long form content

After doing this for all the selected niche, you will have an idea of the competition in each niche.

If established websites with hundreds of backlinks are ranking on the first three results, try to stay away from that niche.

A niche based websites ranking high, with quality content, backlinks and authority: also stay away from that niche.

If niche based sites are ranking but the content is weak, or backlinks are not that strong, then you have found the sweet spot and getting to No #1 position might not be that difficult.

Things to consider while building your affiliate site;

  1. On page SEO (People usually get lazy in this step but trust me it is vital)
  2. Quality of backlink – (1 high-quality backlink is much more powerful than 50 low-quality backlinks)
  3. Write such an article that you can be proud of. Your article should be at least 10 times better than what is already ranking for your primary keyword

One of the best case study for building an affiliate site is of Cloud living, check it out here: 10K challenge

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you use them I will receive commissions, at no extra cost to you.

Ankur Aggarwal

Hi all, i am Ankur Aggarwal – Digital Marketer, Entrepreneur, Traveler, Blogger, Foodie and blah blah blah :D. Have been blogging since 2010. I have multiple websites but Incomeboy.com is my favorite. The purpose of Incomeboy is to pass on 100% accurate and genuine information on making and saving more money either online or offline in India.

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