How to create your niche affiliate site from A to Z?

First find the right products to position yourself on, then build a website that maximizes SEO and conversion, and finally make it monetize well. Three essential, but not necessarily obvious, steps for anyone looking to start belonging.

Membership is going pretty well. Despite the introduction of cookie banners in 2021, making tracking difficult, the industry has grown by 9% in 2021, The cohesion between the players was particularly helpful, according to the 2022 member barometer.

In this context, setting up a niche site can make sense to capitalize on the launch of promising products or to make one’s expertise in a particular sector profitable. Here’s how to do it, step by step.

Niche sites are excellent affiliate leverage. They bring fewer visitors, but they are more qualified. To find a niche, you can choose between a product approach and an expertise approach.

The product approach

The product approach is to look for a profitable niche. “It’s the one that optimizes the work and makes the most money,” says Romain Pirotte, founder of Impulsion SEO. It’s about keeping an eye out for new promising products.

“NFTs, cryptocurrencies or SAAS software are products that are currently working well,” explains Fabien Raquidel, SEO consultant specializing in affiliation. The member barometer notes the very good performance of the beauty & hygiene, health, food, high-tech, home & garden sectors. The high-tech sector in particular sees “good growth again, especially with (…) the increase in second-hand offers”.

One way to find products can be through platforms. “The affiliate network works with small businesses that need to get their products known. This can be an opportunity to find niche ideas,” slips Fabrice Raquidel. “It can also be a good idea to follow the social media accounts of companies that interest you, like Instagram and Tiktok,” adds the consultant. “They don’t hesitate to launch their new products on these channels”.

Some partners even import products or software from the United States. For example, the affiliate platform JVZoo offers a range of innovative online software. The idea is to bet that what worked in the United States has a chance of working in France.

The expert approach

It is also possible “to start from a passion to find a niche on a related subject”, explains Romain Pirotte. “Next to a potentially lucrative idea, it’s easier to work on a topic that excites us.”

answer to a need

Irrespective of the chosen approach, in the end it is often up to the partner to react to a deficiency. “My clients’ success is almost always based on responding to a need they experienced in their industry,” explains Fabrice Raquidel. Constructing content in this spirit to overcome this deficiency can lead to progressive community building. The later possibility for the partner to share products related to the topic.

“However, be sure to offer only very good quality products to build trust with members of the community,” warns Grant Olsen, associate creative director at CHG Healthcare. “You should always protect your reputation. It’s about only offering products and services that meet your criteria.”

Three criteria for validation

Once the niche is chosen, the next step is to see if it shows promise. “Three main criteria make it possible to check this: little competition, good remuneration and a low search volume,” explains Romain Pirotte. “This last element allows, for example, to position oneself more easily.”

After finding the niche comes the website setup phase. A niche site is not very different from a “classic” site. Hosting, a domain name and a CMS are of course still necessary.

What tools to start?

It may be more interesting to go through a French speaking host to benefit from an IP address in France. Even if many of these players host IP addresses outside of France. The French hosting company OVH, for example, offers hosting and the domain name for 3.59 to 7.19 euros per month including taxes. There are other host alternatives like o2switch, Hostinger or PlanetHoster.

To create and manage the website, WordPress is simply required. In addition to its ability to be well referenced, this CMS includes a set of tools adapted to the affiliation. For example, the EasyAzon plugin makes it easy to create Amazon affiliate links. The ThirstyAffiliates plugin, on the other hand, allows you to create cleaner URLs, centralize link management, and track them to know their performance. It also allows management of the no-follow attribute. Handy for hiding links from Google, but not from users of course. Note that link cloaking is not prohibited. The Pretty Links plugin, on the other hand, allows you to personalize links and track each click to obtain information about their origin, browser, operating system and referring pages.

Building the site can take several months. It generally takes between three and six months to be well positioned… if it’s of quality.

Of course, SEO is essential to attract users. Using Google Suggest is an interesting approach. According to Romain Pirotte, this tool offers keywords that are in high demand and that are not yet necessarily taken into account by the competition, unlike the keywords that are usually found in “classic” SEO tools such as Google Adword or SEMRush. In this way, you can quickly respond to inquiries.

In addition, an analysis of the top-ranked pages of competitors makes it possible to know the most profitable products for the affiliation. Observing a competitor’s backlinks, for example with SEMRush, can be valuable in understanding their strategy.

For keywords, it is interesting to position yourself on the name of the product, possibly related to the model or brand. The keyword can be accompanied by fleeting terms like “promo,” “sale,” “Black Friday,” or even “single day.” These last cases are obviously to be used at opportune times.

A semantic cocoon can also be created to highlight content. Some affiliates recommend between 30 and 40 articles of at least 800 to 1,000 words to position the niche well. Various tools are available to set it up, e.g. B. AnswerThePublic, Ahrefs or even Babbar. They make it possible to find questions related to the user’s intentionality. The YourTextGuru tool specifically helps create semantic cocoons. “It indicates, for example, how the articles can be linked to one another”, specifies Fabrice Raquidel.

Partners with an “expert” approach can make a difference by raising their profile. This allows them to respond positively to Google’s EAT for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.” The EAT is part of thousands of tiny algorithms that tell Google how good a website is. According to Bill Slawski, an expert on Google patents related to SEO, the Mountain View company has a patent that allows it to differentiate between expert and amateur content.

How to structure your website

Various content styles can be set up on your pages. The in-depth review article helps the reader learn 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 are best suited for a specific type of user. The advice makes it possible to answer and anticipate certain problems. All of this also builds your expertise and authority in the eyes of Google.

Some affiliates, who generally practice the expert approach, can set up conversion 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 serve as a funnel bait. Once the email has been retrieved, automated email sequences are set up according to various predefined scenarios using software such as Mailchimp or Clickfunnels.

How to monetize your website

The payment of the affiliation is usually based on the number of sales or leads brought to the affiliator. It is advisable to familiarize yourself with the commission rules before even signing up for an affiliate program.

Should I go through the direct seller or through an affiliate platform? In fact, each of the approaches has advantages and disadvantages.

Direct selling often offers higher commissions and better link tracking. The seller can also help create a close relationship between the affiliate and the affiliate program. In this way, the affiliate can be informed directly about the best products. Direct selling doesn’t require an “entry ticket” either, as is the case on many platforms.

On the other hand, affiliate platforms connect the affiliate with an impressive array of opportunities.. They often offer a vertical specialization with exclusive offers. The conversion rate is generally higher than direct sellers. The platforms are also a guarantee of trust and the certainty of being paid on time.

Another question, which payment option makes the most sense? “If we only look at the number of visitors, I would say that this is undoubtedly the most interesting CPC,” Romain Pirotte replies. “But over the long term, the most successful options are cost per action (CPA) and revenue sharing, to get paid a percentage on a monthly recurring basis for the customers you refer.” Note that for many affiliates, working in multiple niches is ideal to stay away from to be dependent on one.

how to track

Most commonly, affiliate tracking is done using code to track conversions or transactions on the merchant site. The latter transmits to the administration the data that makes it possible to know which affiliate is the origin of the conversion and possibly the amount of the transaction. The tracking must therefore be well done in order for a commission to be awarded to the affiliate. Generally, the last cookie rule is implemented, which is to reward the affiliate site from which the last click before the conversion came.

Tracking links and their performance are monitored using special plugins or using the affiliate platform. Keyword monitoring is done with tools like SEMrush, Check-position or Yooda.

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