SEO Case Study: Affiliate marketing website goes from 0 to 600k monthly impressions
Here’s how one JetPage customer with no social media following or paid ads went from ZERO to 600,000 monthly Google Search Console impressions in only 10 months! The website is an affiliate marketing website that is currently earning $3,000 per month thanks to this SEO traffic.
We talked to Chris of chrisstarkhagen.com about how he was able to overcome past failures, and what strategies, and tools he used to find success online. You can listen to the full story on this Podcast episode or keep reading below!
How chrisstarkhagen.com started and how it makes money.
After previous failures online, with other affiliate websites using WordPress, and business models like Kindle publishing, Chris pivoted to a personal brand which allowed him to explore more potential niches.
While in the past Chris spent months just getting his website set up, this time he was able to go from zero (no social media following, no existing successful business) to a full-time income in less than a year!
He makes $3,000 in affiliate commissions, and sponsored posts. On top of that, he also has used the success of his website to get freelance writing jobs which add even more income.
While many beginners focus on ad revenue, Chris says that the negatives, such as slowing down your site and annoying your visitors far outway the small payouts you receive from any on-page advertising.
He was kind enough to break down exactly what tools he uses, and the strategies he employs to find success so quickly.
The tools Chris uses on his affiliate marketing website
While a lot of people are looking to make money for nothing online, you need to be willing to invest in your business if you want it to grow. Chris notes that
“You need to be prepared to spend that for several months before anything happens on the blog. You will have a good 5, 6, or 7 months where you won't make any money because you're starting from zero.
Google is trying to figure out your website, where it fits in terms of topics, and where you have authority and then you can start to rank for certain keyboards.
That's when you can start to think about monetization and bring in some money, but until then, you will have to be comfortable with dishing out somewhere around $300 a month.”
The tools Chris is using for his website in 2022:
After using WordPress in the past and spending months just to get a site that he was somewhat happy with, Chris wanted something simpler.
He knew to start ranking for keywords he would need to focus all his energy on creating useful content, not having to maintain a website, and worry about things like security and performance scores.
With JetPage he got a huge boost in technical SEO without having to lift a finger. He was able to start writing right away. No time wasted in website design, or back-end engineering. Compared to the experiences of WordPress users he sees. According to Chris:
“I even saw someone in a Facebook group say that after six months they're finally done with their website. I can now start on content and I'm like, have you done nothing? It's been six months!
So just to put this into context, if you're fiddling around with your website for six months, and then you have me who is producing perhaps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 content pieces per week, who do you think we'll win? Who do you think will get traffic? The guy who produces content.
So if you're fiddling around with a website and not doing anything that leads to the results, then you might as well just quit. And that's, that's why I, highly recommend JetPage because you're done in like two minutes, upload a logo and a background, and you're done, and then you start writing and then you start focusing on keywords.”
For keyword research, Chris uses Ahrefs to identify opportunities to rank for keywords that are often overlooked by most people. While the $100 a month price tag can scare people off, Chris notes that it’s crucial:
“Ahrefs is hands down the absolute best and you cannot live without it if you want to make it in the blogging game, because you need to find keywords that you have an opportunity to rank for.
You need to see how hard it is and how many search results there are and all the other data you need to run in the correct path. That was one of the mistakes that I learned with my first website.
I was using like free tools and just finding topics and stuff like that, and that resulted in nothing but. With Ahrefs, you really pinpoint exactly where you have a chance to rank. And find long tail keywords.”
In Chris’s experience just with JetPage and Ahrefs, you’re already 60% or more ahead of the competition. Most people aren’t willing to invest into their website, and if you’re looking for every way to get an advantage you can easily outpace the competition.
Surfer SEO is a tool that checks your blogs for on-page SEO. It helps you make sure you have enough keyword density, images, and other factors that can affect ranking. (JetPage is working on an on-page SEO checker, so soon you can do this without the need to buy any additional software).
Chris also found that free tools like Yoast just weren’t cutting it to give him a competitive advantage in 2022 which is why he switched to Surfer SEO.
AI Writing Tools
While AI writing tools can’t write a blog post from beginning to end, Chris has found that they help him go from idea to finish post much faster.
“What AI does is that it helps you to create the content. It's more like an assistant. You can't really push one button and generate a blog post with 3000 words out of thin air.
We're not there yet. But it helps and speeds up the process. So what used to take me five to write, now maybe it takes two hours right now which is a huge improvement.”
You can find a complete list of AI writing tools that Chris recommends HERE.
When you’re trying to create a lot of content quickly every tool that can help speed up that process and get you over writer's block is worth it!
How to create content efficiently for your website.
Now that you have the tools, you need to actually write. Once Chris has picked a keyword he searches it on Google to see what the “search intent” is. This is what most people are looking for when they search that term.
This will give you a sense of how to write using that keyword. Then Chris uses an AI Writing tool to get started. He does the actual writing on Google Docs because JetPage allows you to simply copy and paste without losing any formatting.
This means he can set custom formatting settings on Google docs that he can easily re-use on every blog post. He makes sure to add some images, and internal links to other of his blog posts on every article, which helps SEO.
Chris’s most important keys to success with an affiliate marketing website in 2022
So besides the tools what are the most valuable things to know if you want your affiliate website to actually succeed?
Finding a Mentor
“Find a mentor, don't reinvent the wheel. Learn everything that they have to teach because they have made it. You have not, and you can save so much time. So step one, find a mentor.”
Set Results Driven Goals
Chris emphasizes you need to figure out what actions drive revenue, and then focus your goals on doing more of those actions.
Deep Work by Cal Newport, is one of Chris’s favorite books and focuses on how to do “Deep Work” and avoid the distractions that we always encounter when trying to do hard tasks.
“Take daily action consistently over a long period of time” This is based on the book Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. This allows you to make huge progress over time because every day you’re doing something, and over time that equals results.
When something isn’t working after a while, be open to pivoting or niching down until it clicks.
If you’re ready to get started on your own website you can get a free 14-day trial of JetPage, and if you want to learn more about Chris’s journey or reach out to him, you can find him on Twitter, and at his website chrisstarkhagen.com.