If you followed through part 1 of my Amazon guide you should now have a niche or list of niches that are suitable to build a site around. We must now get the site running and arrange all of the content. Follow the steps below to lay the foundations of a professional and content rich website which Google and your users will love.
Choosing a domain name
This part tends to come down to personal preference, you could choose a keyword rich domain or a brandable one. I like to pick something catchy, short and easier to remember and not a partial/exact match. My reasons for this is that it looks much more professional and less spammy than “bestvacummcleanerreviews.com” for example. So I suggest putting on your creative hat and heading over to domize.com and start inputting a few ideas to see if they are available.
If you are really stuck or want a keyword rich domain then check out leandomainsearch which will add words to the beginning and end of your keywords and check if they are available in .com. Bear in mind that keyword rich domains are more likely to suffer from an over-optimisation penalty unless you are cautious about using too much exact/partial anchor text and keyword density.
Once you have found the domain you want then go ahead and register it with your favourite registrar.
There’s no need to overthink hosting but since this is your money site and potentially an asset worth a lot of money you want something that is reliable and with a decent or unlimited amount of bandwidth. I recommend one of the top hosts like Bluehost who I have used for many of my money sites, you can host unlimited sites there and if you want unique IPs you can combine it with Cloudflare for free. Once you’ve got your site up and running, you will want to get wordpress installed and do the basic configuration.
Note: I now recommend Digital Ocean ahead of Bluehost which tends to be too slow in 2016 where page speed and optimisation is important.
Themes and Plugins
Most magazine style themes are pretty great for Amazon affiliate sites and there are some which are specialised for review type sites. There are also some plugins out there for a star rating system and other things which make life much easier when building an affiliate site.
As for other plugins I recommend to keep things minimal aside from the essential stuff like a security and backup one. A plugin to create product comparison tables is important, I recommend Tablepress or for something more beautiful try Go Responsive. You may want Yoast SEO though I personally don’t use it too much these days.
Planning the content
Another very important step is to get your content all planned out and outsourced or written by yourself if you are on a budget/enjoy writing.
Choosing the products to review
Firstly, you must find the top products in your niche that we want to review and build a little comparison table which will be placed on your website. Users love these tables and the amount of clicks they can generate is pretty insane if you link directly to Amazon from them.
To choose the products I recommend checking the bestsellers on Amazon and then taking a selection so that you have a nice mix of popular, high-end and low-end products in that niche to please every visitor. Once you have 5 or 10 of the best products you can make a nice comparison table with criteria for price, review score, warranty length and other relevant features of products in that niche.
The comparison articles will introduce the products in your niche and include a comparison table and a short summary of each individual product which links to their review article. This should be long and high quality, it is these pages which will make the bulk of your earnings so invest some time/money into it! Work out the content length to use by finding the average of the top 10 for that keyword and then beating it.
You will need an individual product review article for each product, this should include an overview along with the good/bad points and a overall rating.
To stop your site from looking like an obvious affiliate site you should include some filler content which is informational. It won’t directly make you money as it isn’t targeting buying keywords but it could bring in some extra traffic if you do the keyword research right.
A neat little trick is to head over to the Google Keyword Planner tool and enter your niche in the category or keyword fields along with “how” or “what” in the filter field. You should now have a list of tens or hundreds of relevant info keywords to use for these articles.
I like to use a silo structure and to build sites in larger niches these days which is great for maximising the amount of keywords you can target and also for building domain authority which helps rank inner pages and any new pages you add very quickly.
That is the basic site structure I recommend, the homepage is not something we are trying to rank and just acts as an introduction to the comparison pages. Those comparison pages are where you should focus your link building efforts on and you will find that other posts such as review articles will start to rank naturally due to the sheer domain authority built when linking to the other pages.
Hope you enjoyed it…
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for part 3 where I will talk about the most exciting stage which is SEO 😉 Please give your feedback/questions in the comments below and I will get back to you.