Private Blog Networks Are Dead (Joke)

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Just thought I'd stop by as I haven't posted here in quite some months.. Nice to see Mike Anthony, Nik0 etc still regularly posting.

I took a break from affiliate marketing last July as I landed a job as a Digital Marketing Manager at a local firm. I've just accepted a job offer to go and head up the marketing strategy at an international company worth in excess of 1-billion. Exciting times are ahead!

But with that, I've decided to dedicate my weekends to building my Amazon Affiliate sites again. They were all deindexed back in July, and I simply gave up as I couldn't be bothered re-building them. I did, however, keep my private blog network up and running (for later use).

Around a month ago, I started on my first Amazon site. I decided to do it better this time. No content is outsourced as I want the personal touch added to reviews. In short, this is what my new Amazon site looks like:
  1. An authority site. There is more useful content than there is reviews. I've attempted to cover absolutely everything that a user would need from an informational site related to a specific product. For example, if I was covering Juicers, I would create a whole section dedicated to recipes and add 100's of recipes (Yes, I'm serious). All of these informational articles drive traffic, attract natural links and actually make your affiliate site worthwhile.
  2. Not clearly an Amazon site. My new site is an Amazon site in disguise. Yes, there are Amazon links scattered around, but they aren't immediately noticeable. This is a mistake I made last game. I scattered my site with links and reaped the benefits for a few months. There was no long-term benefit to this though. My reviews are a bit deeper down my new site, and the primary purpose for my site is information - not Amazon.
  3. A great personal experience. I wanted to become a true expert in the field. I researched my product, and I read studies, clinical trials etc. On my site, there's a section for questions and answers etc. I find myself getting questions asked almost everyday - because people want MY opinion. I post their question along with my answer on the site. That gives me fresh content to add daily that benefits the end-user.

Here's what my private blog network looks like:
  • Tier 1: Tier 1 comprises of dozens of TLD's (.com, .org etc). Each blog is completely different and no one blog looks the same. I have blocked all bots (that I know of) in HTACCESS. All blog posts are outsourced, but I MAKE SURE they are written in first-person as a blog style post. Each post on any one Tier 1 site has the same writing tone, and relates back to previous posts in someway. My tier 1 sites are supposed to be personal blogs - and that's how I want them to appear.
  • Tier 2: My Tier 2 network consists of PR4-PR6 sites that are used to feed "juice" to my Tier 1 sites. While my Tier 1 sites are expired domains with value, I wanted to increase on this value. My network is a lot smaller than other marketers because I build a "pyramid" system. My Tier 2 sites are the most authoritative of my network, and I use them to off-set the posts I do to my Amazon sites.

After one month:
  • My Amazon site is #2 for a search term of 7000 monthly searches. This is over a 3-week period.
  • My Amazon site is on the first page for the EXACT query. For example, if my site was targeting "Food Processor Reviews", then my site is page one for "Food Processors". This term is equal to 50,000 monthly searches.
  • My sales are now cropping up, and I have more than paid for all of the outsourced content. For those interested, I expect to bring in between $1,500 and $2,500 per month; possibly more if I manage to hit the top three for the big 50,000 search term.
  • My private blog network is still going extremely strong.

Take home advice:
  1. Building a private blog network isn't easy; neither is affiliate sites. Stop looking at it as earning a few bucks. I've finally realised that you need to put in hours of time and effort to build something worthwhile.
  2. Stop providing end-users with crap. If you build a site on Food Processor Reviews, then actually provide them with unique reviews. If you haven't studied your subject for months, then don't bother. You NEED to provide something unique; not only to appeal to Google, but to also attract natural links. I believe natural links are KEY to winning in this industry.
#blog #dead #joke #networks #private
  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    Nice to see you back and congrats with the job!

    I can confirm that sites setup in a lesser way still function though.

    Personally I pushed it a bit too far with my crappy sites but one of my clients builds more solid sites, though not larger then 20-30 pages and >70% of the pages have 1 or more Amazon links.

    He gets the links from my network, which is used for many clients and obvious doesn't look the most natural as that's just not doable when dealing with 100's of different topics/sites to link out to.

    Still he's ranking fine, perhaps not for the main query but definitely for the "best..." "" keywords more often then not in the top 5. His sites bring in about $300-$600/month each.

    I suspect he also writes his own content as it's pretty good, the site is nicely outlined, 100% unique categories and such, good structure and design wise they look basic but in a great way with custom back grounds, custom designed headers (graphical wise) and so on. He uses a bit of an odd way of anchor diversity, points links at every single page with a good variety and very diverse anchors. I think he didn't give me any exact anchors at all for his main keywords. That way it takes much longer to rank for the main keywords, often 3-4 months but eventually he does rank without using a single exact anchor. And then I mean that he doesn't disguise them in longtail format either, or very sporadically, which amazed me a bit.

    My own Amazon sites had a very delayed link building that started less then 3 months ago and in a very slow pace, they experienced a small drop during Panda 4.0, but before I build additional links I'm switching themes and also make sure that it only consits of unique content on home/category page (eg: making homepage static and getting rid of recent posts completely on category level). Most of the 20 received about 40 high PR blog posts and most main keywords hover around the bottom of page one so they aren't driving a ton of traffic yet. In fact the 20 sites make a combined $500/month now.

    Main reason of that is that the main kw's haven't reached top 5 yet so few traffic from those and also very little longtail traffic cause the actual product review pages are ranking real poor, haven't build a single link to individual product pages yet, only to home/category page so far so that's one huge thing that is lacking now so very little longtail traffic.

    For example if my "best ...." kw with 5400 exact searches ranks at #9 then some long ass post title with very little competition ranks at #80, makes no sense.
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  • Profile picture of the author powerboss
    Don't share secrets. Google may come out with Panda Bear Nuclear 1.0 update soon. Just joking. Enjoy your rankings.
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  • Profile picture of the author UnkwnUsr
    Originally Posted by Icematikx View Post

    Stop providing end-users with crap. If you build a site on Food Processor Reviews, then actually provide them with unique reviews. If you haven't studied your subject for months, then don't bother. You NEED to provide something unique; not only to appeal to Google, but to also attract natural links. I believe natural links are KEY to winning in this industry.
    Study Food Processors for months? Is there an alternative like suicide? Honestly, I don't know how some people can write on some of these subjects.
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  • Profile picture of the author minhhiep
    you have great skill
    but i think seo is dead
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