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Today we’re going to share a success story from one of our clients.
He owns an affiliate website built on an expired domain that is getting over 90k+ page views and makes $3,500/mo on average.
We know you all would be excited to know how he managed to scale his affiliate website to four figures a month.
The last case study I shared with you was about the client’s success and how he managed to scale money site with 301 expired domain redirection to a brand-new domain.
If you missed it, you could always read the case study here; $166,000 in NET Sales with 301 Expired Domain Redirection.
So, let’s dive in and start with the interview where he would be sharing his success as well as failures.
Hey all, thanks for giving me a chance to share my experience.
First of all, I am a gamer and a bit of a tech geek.
And what’s the most important, also the proud owner of an affiliate website that covers detailed reviews about gaming products and other technology tools and “How-to” tutorials.
Did you follow the niche or your passion?
Being a gamer myself, I found it a lot easier to share my expertise in various gaming products and accessories because I had the passion.
I also knew most of the things related to my niche.
It is what happens when your passion perfectly blends with your profession. So, my niche was aligned with my passion while working on my website.
One of the mistakes that newbie affiliates make is that they choose a profitable niche, but they hardly know anything about that niche.
Just because a niche is profitable doesn’t mean that you should go with it blindly.
You should have at least some knowledge or experience working in that niche.
For example, consider a scenario that someone is planning to work on the finance niche just because it is a profitable niche.
But what if that person doesn’t understand the nuances related to the industry?
A website built around this niche won’t be profitable because the content written by that person won’t be authoritative.
There’s an escape way around over here.
Choose a profitable niche (it can be anything travel, home, fashion, health, tech, gaming, etc.).
Now hire an expert writer in the niche that you have chosen. This way, you can make maximum profit out of your affiliate website.
How did you get started with your business?
For me, I always wanted to quit the 9-5 rat race and build an online empire of my own.
I was always looking out for other means of making money online, and then I came across affiliate marketing.
Also, I read several stories of successful affiliates and got inspired and motivated after reading their success stories and decided to give it a try.
In November 2018, I decided to get a domain for my project finally and bought an expired domain for myself on SerpDomains.
From the day I acquired the domain name, I had plans to make it into a profitable affiliate website.
The website went live on 15th December 2018, and I started working on it, hoping to make some decent money.
I was looking for a “perfect” expired domain for my affiliate website.
I didn’t want to get started with a brand-new domain as I knew that there would be a lot of effort involved.
Well, at first, I was thinking about a brand-new domain plus 301 redirect but wasn’t sure at all how to get it right in the first shoot.
Can you tell about the process of getting an expired domain?
So, getting an expired domain name was inexpensive for me in my first shoot.
I had high hopes that it will give me that much-needed SEO advantage.
Just like every SEO marketer newbie, I started researching about expired domains and stumbled upon, of course, on expireddomains.net.
Honestly, I found it to be a bit complex to explore, although I got a domain, but made a huge mistake.
The domain looked perfectly clean, but it was a bummer.
I ended up getting an expired domain that had a manual penalty.
After, I realized that I cared more for money instead of focusing on the quality of the domain no matter how much it will cost.
I regretted this decision and felt terrible and almost gave up. But I thought of discussing this with one of my friends who knew more about expired (auction) domains.
He then advised me to search for aged domains from SerpDomains.
I headed over to the site and realized that I should have visited it here a lot before. But the saying goes, you learn from your mistakes. 🙂
What were your requirements for the auction domain?
After chatting with Ivan, I found that there are several other factors that I didn’t pay enough attention to earlier. Other things needed consideration like:
- DNS changes
- The quality of backlinks (a type of links)
- The relevance of the expired domain to your niche
As let’s say, a beginner, I was overwhelmed with this information overload, so I thought of taking baby steps.
I signed up for an account on SerpDomains and started browsing domain marketplace and finally chose one of the domains which I’ve eventually converted into a successful affiliate website.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to do vetting myself as they had it done.
Although I did ask a lot of questions about the domain, and I got all the answers before purchase.
It helped me save my time, money, and my efforts, and honestly, I don’t know a damn thing about it back then.
I also thought that it is a MUST to have loads of links from high-authority media sites like nytimes.com, huffpost.com, or any other.
But, it’s not a must, as you can see in the screenshot below. Here, I decided to reveal the first 20 RD of the expired domain.
Did you care about expired domain metrics?
Well, now I don’t give too much emphasis on Domain Rating (DR) when it’s about expired domains.
It feels that these metrics are just a guiding point. You shouldn’t align your efforts making a hard and fast rule that it should have a particular DR.
For example, my expired domain DR was only 37, and now it’s 44. Now, I care most about links and traffic. 🙂
What type of articles do you post, and how often?
I try to keep the right mix of review-based articles and information-based articles.
Also, I analyze my competitors’ websites and maintain a list of keywords they are targeting by making use of Ahrefs’ “Top Pages.”
I’m taking into consideration several factors like keyword difficulty, competition, referring domains, and I also analyze the types of sites that rank in the SERPs.
Most of the review sites publish 2-3 articles per week and having a word count between 2500 to 4000.
My review-based articles contain around 2500 to 3200 words and I upload 1-2 articles per week.
Can you share your link building strategy?
From the beginning until now, I got 8-10 links from guest posting on relevant niche-based websites.
Two of the links reserved for the root and the rest spread over the other pages that drive the most organic traffic.
Also, I am not using a PBN (Private Blog Network), and as of now, I am getting an average of 3000-3500 page views per day.
Can you share some screenshots?
I’ve seen significant keyword movements and a drastic rise in organic traffic.
Below I have shared a screenshot of my website’s recent performance from Ahrefs.
You can see the drastic rise in organic traffic from January 2019. Now, I am receiving traffic around 90k/mo, and the site is ranking for around 21k organic keywords.
When did you make your first dollar?
Just like everyone else, I started working on my website on war-footing mode.
To begin with, I created the basic pages, namely, About page, Contact pages, etc.
I also restored a few old pages from archive.org having links to get some traction, hopefully. A few days later, I published new informational content in the form of blog posts, which included review articles.
Afterward, the site started ranking for target keywords on 1st and 2nd page without building links.
In January 2019, this site got few visitors initially, and with time the traffic increased gradually. I made the first dollar in February 2019.
Earnings vs. Expenses
How much money did you make so far?
Until today, I made around $20,000.00 with my affiliate site. Earnings were much lower in the beginning, and now they became more steadier.
How much did you spend on the project?
From the start until now:
- Expired domain – $1050
- Website content – $3700
- Guest posts – $750
Is there anything else you would like to add for the end?
Yeah, add quality content on your website, watch on an internal linking structure and technical SEO. And of course, do not stop expanding your business. Invest!
Now, if any of you have questions, feel free to drop a comment and let’s discuss it.
We hope you enjoyed this case study and that at least some of you got a dose of motivation to start with an affiliate website right now. 🙂