All were targeting keywords that receive the bulk of their searches during the holiday season and had local monthly average searches of anywhere from 200-2,000.
This may not seem like a lot, but since the keywords receive the bulk of the searches during November and December (holiday season), they receive about 2,400-24,000 searches during these months since the number that the google keyword tool displays is the monthly average.
The reason I only wanted to promote products that were popular during this time of the year was because a lot of the people who click over to your affiliate links to Amazon usually buy more than just what they were looking for.
I sold many products that I wasn't promoting such as ipods, ipads, jewelry, TVs, cookware, etc. Amazon's cookies have a duration of 24 hours so whatever people buy within 24 hours of clicking through your links, you get a commission for and during shopping season, people tend to buy a lot within those 24 hours!
Almost all of my sites were ranking in the top 10 for their keywords and some related keywords. They were all EMDs and had about 2-3 articles targeting the primary keyword and related keywords. I did on-page SEO myself and I did off-page SEO using Fiverr, the sites were fairly easy to rank. I think the most I spent on ranking one site was about $50.
I Only Used Free Tools
I have used Market Samurai and Micro Niche Finder before but honestly, I don't find either of them to be much more useful than the free tools. I only use Google Keyword Tool (for keyword research) and SEOQuake to analyze competition.
Amazon's banners SUCK:
I had amazon's black friday deals banner up on my site on black friday and their cyber monday deals banner on cyber monday, and a "holiday deals" banner on all other days - all had just over 0.5% CTR and below-average conversions. Instead of using Amazon's banners, you're better off using banners promoting affiliate offers for other sites.
Although the banners had low CTR, the basic product links I used had a CTR of 99.33%. This is how I structured them:
I made a table with 4 rows and 1 column. In the first row I had the affiliate link with the anchor text of the product name. In the second row, I had an image affiliate link of the product.
In the third row, I had another text affiliate link with the anchor text "Click Here for Best Price". I had tried others before like "click Here for More Details", "Click here to Buy Now", "Click Here to Order", etc but I found that "Click Here for Best Price" works the best not only for CTR but also for conversions. I really think making this change strongly helped boost my CTR
In the 4th row, I wrote a short review listing pros and cons of the product. I usually made about 3-4 of these tables, one for the main product I was promoting and others for related products.
Look at Search Trends
I wouldn't have been able to achieve this if I didn't focus on search trends. Don't count out a keyword just because it get less than 500 average searches/month. Those searches might all be coming on a specific month or season where you could get a lot of traffic and profit handsomely.
Don't rely on Past Data
A few of my sites received much less traffic than I was expecting. This was because Google Keyword Tool shows the data for the past year and sometimes, those numbers will be much different than the current year.
One of the keywords I was targeting had a local average monthly search volume of 720 (with about 95% of them coming during November & December), which meant the keyword should have received about 8,640 searches during the holiday season.
However, the traffic for the site was much, much lower than what I expected based on those numbers. This was because the product was a lot less popular this shopping season than it was last year. Most products aren't big sellers every shopping season so keep that in mind when you do keyword research.
Anyways, I think that's about it. Hope you enjoyed reading about my little venture in the world of micro-niche sites.
My specialties are mainly offline marketing and Fiverr but I think I've found my next favorite hobby. Next year, I will be creating a lot more sites like these now that I know their potential.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reply.