The niche I'm in has a software that is king of this niche, think Photoshop cult like followers/buyers. Anyone that has been around Photoshop knows that Adobe owns that niche when it comes to software, the company selling software in the same niche I'm in has these same type of followers/buyers. End users are always waiting for the next version of niche software to be released, the software is top of the line (basically no competition).
Anyways, I link out of my own sites pages to this niche software domain, no affiliate link, just a plain link because I know my traffic recognizes that software (traffic trust). I also know Google recognizes that software/domain as an authority in the SERPs for this niche.
On my own site I provide files that my traffic can download to use with this niche software, the files can be used with about a dozen other similar software, but this one software company dominates for having the easiest to use & quality software (still has a learning curve).
Part of what keeps my site with consistent targeted traffic flow is the niche software company doesn't care about providing downloadable files related to their software, instead they sell the software to create the files. Where my site comes in is giving people new to the software a starting point to be up & running ASAP, the traffic can use my files as a starting point or as an end product that they can turn around and sell as part of a larger product or simply use as a hobby, that gives me two types of free traffic (hobby niche, small business niche) from the same downloadable files on my site (everyone wins).
Anyone trying to create decent links, ask yourself "Would I bookmark my own page If I was niche traffic?" If the answer is No, well, nobody else cares about the page your trying to backlink. Be honest & stop thinking about money long enough to truthfully answer the question.
My point here is, when building links think like your traffic thinks. If you can't instantly give a Yes answer to the bookmarking question above, you already know the answer is No, your page isn't worthy of a backlink (fix it).
Just because you have an affiliate link doesn't give your page a purpose, what I'm saying is, you have to prove to traffic you have something they want/need. That's the whole point of even doing SEO, having something the traffic want's/needs.
What's worked for me is setting my site up like a supplier. Look at BMW for instance, BMW doesn't build cars from raw materials, BMW assembles sub-assemblies that are created from raw materials in 3rd party business. In my niche, I'm the 3rd party, I supply content/files that is relevant to a software business. The niche software business has links all over their forum pointing back to my site, I have never built a single link on their forum, my traffic built the forum links to try & help other forum members find useful files that they can download & use on this specific software.
In this example, I could care less about SEO, because I'm skipping the middle man (Google SERPs) & getting direct laser targeted niche traffic for free. The reason I'm getting that free niche traffic is because I provided a source of useful content/files for my traffic. Keep in mind this traffic is mostly buyers, the software isn't free. So I'm getting buyers sent to my site, from a niche software site I've never built links on (my traffic built the links).
I also get plenty of return traffic (buyer traffic) because they've learnt my site is a source of files that are useful & serve a purpose. Believe me when I say return traffic is the easiest to monetize, when someone trust you because they've had a good experience on your site the trust level goes way up for any future products/services you have to offer.
I've never understood the folks on this forum that create the small MFA type sites & their goal is to get traffic on their page from the SERPs, & next to get that traffic to leave ASAP via Adsense, Amazon, Clickbank, etc.. Good grief, they created buyer traffic & don't care If the buyer ever returns to their site, IMO, that's just crazy thinking & looks like a lot of wasted time they've invested into their sites. The goal should be to keep buyers returning to your site, some people don't always buy on their first visit to a site, it might take 2 or 3 (or however many) visits before they decide to buy. I have Adsense on a few sites, but I defiantly want my traffic to keep coming back to my site/s, If they clicked Adsense once they might click again on a return visit If the Ad is relevant to the page content.
I want my pages bookmarked by traffic, I want the traffic building niche links, I want my traffic telling anyone they know that's also interested in the same niche, about my sites.
It's not difficult to create a site that has a purpose. All you have to do is look around the net & figure out how you can compliment a product that has buyer traffic. What would that buyer traffic want that the actual product doesn't provide?
- If I wanted to target Photoshop traffic (buyer traffic) I would own at least one site that offered .psd files (traffic lure), then monetize with paid premium packages of .psd files or any related content.
- If I wanted to target iphone traffic (buyer traffic) I would offer free wallpapers for their phone (traffic lure) then up-sell on the latest iphone related accessories/phones. iphone will always have new phones coming out, which will always have new accessories.
- If I wanted to target TomTom (GPS) traffic (buyer traffic), I would offer maps to download (traffic lure). Upsell on the latest greatest GPS available.
The list could go on all day, the point here is that for every paid product in this world, there's always a way to offer that buyer traffic something more, that they can't get from the original seller (BMW, Adobe, Apple, TomTom, etc...).
I know this forum is infatuated with articles, I also know some of the people on this forum suck at writing articles. Personally I hate writing, I find it very boring, I write more on this forum than I do on all my sites combined, I still SEO & rank my pages just fine (without articles).
If writing articles is your thing, hats off to you, keep writing.
Just know, that you always have options when it comes to creating useful sites & that it's not that complicated to find laser targeted buyer traffic outside of the SERPs. There's absolutely nothing wrong with SERP traffic, there's also nothing wrong with return traffic, that's actually a really good thing when it comes to earning money online. It's not just people returning to your site, their returning because they're interested in what you have to offer.
This is what I do & I guarantee anyone else can do the same thing, If they only slow down long enough to think like a buyer.