Creating a Small Niche Affiliate Site – Part 2

Last week I mentioned the steps I’d taken so far in building a small niche affiliate site. I decided to do a bit more work on it this week, so I guess we’re now on to step two in the series. I’m building this site using tools/strategies that are available to anyone, on purpose.

With domain registration, hosting, installing WordPress, installing Thesis, creating affiliate relationships, keyword research, a general sitemap/URL structure and a range of site link to start the aging process out of the way, it’s time for the next steps.

Out of less than forty expected pages, I identified four keywords that I needed to do some cool [read - high quality] articles on in order to target said keywords. I went to one of the writers I work with on a regular basis and explained that I wanted four fifteen hundred word articles on each topic – and since they were commercial in nature – to limit where they found the products to talk about within the article to the five affiliate relationships I’d already created.

The writer is solely writing the content with a link to each product mentioned – I’ll pull pictures and link it up with affiliate links later. In my start-up days, I’d have written these articles myself, but at this point, it is cheaper for me to simply pay someone else to write them so I can focus on other things (AKA if *you* don’t have the cash to spend, write them yourself – time or money, the choice is yours).

Time spent on individual task: 15 minutes

Total time spent: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Money spent on individual task: $300.00

Total money spent: $310.69

 
Next up was taking care of some of the “boiler plate” pages. The very first being the Privacy Policy, some merchants and contextual advertising programs require it these days. I grabbed a privacy policy from one of my other sites and did a find and replace and threw it on the site. You could always find a privacy policy generator if you don’t have a prior one to pull from though.

Then I threw up a very short Contact page with the email address of the site and a note that we try to respond to all emails received within 48 hours to give the page a bit more text. But both of these pages will be blocked from the engines anyway.

I also added some intro text to the Other Sites page that will eventually become the home to about ten tightly – but horizontally themed – link partners.

Time spent on individual task: 10 minutes

Total time spent: 4 hours, 40 minutes

Money spent on individual task: None

Total money spent: $310.69

 
Next up was writing a function for Thesis to spit out a custom footer. You can find and copy this code (and tons of other code for custom Thesis mods) in my Thesis tutorials on this site.

Time spent on individual task: 5 minutes

Total time spent: 4 hours, 45 minutes

Money spent on individual task: None

Total money spent: $310.69

 
Now I needed to install a few WordPress plugins. I installed GoCodes to help track affiliate links and Permalink Redirect to avoid any potential issues of duplicate content being created through WordPress inadequacies and Scribe. Thesis does most of the rest of what I need.

Time spent on individual task: 15 minutes

Total time spent: 5 hours

Money spent on individual task: None

Total money spent: $310.69

 
Then I went to add some creatives from the merchants I am affiliated with to the Media Box in Thesis (where you can set it rotate through a series of linked images) and ran into a problem. It seems none of these merchants have designers that graduated from 1998 web design. Their creatives are probably some of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen – this was true of all five merchants.

So I had to think up a plan B.

I decided I’d grab pictures of what I thought were cool individual products – one from each merchant – to create a “Featured Product” rotation linking to the individual products. But that also ran into a snag because one merchant had watermarked all their photos – so I was down to four. Not a big deal though – at the moment, they’re more for graphics than anything else.

Time spent on individual task: 25 minutes (cause I suck with images)

Total time spent: 5 hours, 25 minutes

Money spent on individual task: None

Total money spent: $310.69

 
Next I decided to remember what it feels like to actually have to write content for an affiliate site’s link development efforts and wrote a 400 word article a friend had agreed to let me guest post on their very horizontally – and appropriately – themed blog. Nothing stellar, but it wasn’t complete crap either. I logged in as a guest author, uploaded and formatted the post, threw in a few pictures and links (including one to my newly wire-framed site) and hit publish in order to further fuel the aging and early link development process (go scrapers go!).

Time spent on individual task: 1 hour

Total time spent: 6 hours, 25 minutes

Money spent on individual task: None

Total money spent: $310.69

 
While I was in the writing mood, I threw together a 500 word article for an article site I know will pass some juice and traffic to the site and submitted it. It wasn’t riveting writing but it wasn’t complete drivel either (again, go scrapers go!).

Time spent on individual task: 40 minutes

Total time spent: 7 hours, 5 minutes

Money spent on individual task: None

Total money spent: $310.69

 
Another two and a half or so hours put in and I’m done for the moment. I’ll post again when the mood next hits me.

Edited to add:

See Creating a Small Niche Affiliate Site – Part 3.
See Creating a Small Niche Affiliate Site – The End.

About Rae Hoffman

Rae Hoffman aka "Sugarrae" is an affiliate marketing veteran and the CEO of PushFire, a search marketing agency specializing in SEO audits and link building strategies. She is also the author of the often controversial Sugarrae blog. You can connect with Rae via Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Sugarrae runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

If you’re someone who doesn’t understand a lot of PHP, Genesis will give a ton of functionality that you wouldn’t be able to obtain otherwise with a simple control panel instead of having to alter code. For the advanced, Genesis has incredible customization possibilities via Genesis hooks.

The theme is not only highly customizable, but it has allowed me to run Sugarrae more professionally, with a much more targeted focus on monetization than it ever has been able to achieve before.

You can find out more about Genesis below:

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