Pick His Brain! with Doug Cunnington 1


Source: SEOSignalsLab

Pick His Brain!

I’d like to introduce one of our members, Doug Cunnington, for our next ‘Pick His Brain’ session and I want to thank him for the participation.

Doug is a recovering IT Project Manager who accidentally got into affiliate marketing after finding the Smart Passive Income Podcast.

He dabbled with his sites on the side until he got laid off, then he took it full time.

He is now a successful affiliate marketer and have sold multiple affiliate sites for over 6 figures.

Doug is also the creator of KGR (keyword golden ratio) formula for finding keywords you can rank within a short period of time.

If you have any questions on affiliate marketing strategies, please feel free to pick his brain.

Here are the rules.

1) I’ll let the thread go on until he asks me to stop. Theoretically, this thread can continue until the FaceBook stock value goes to zero.

2) Please, no snarky remarks. I will not tolerate any intentional negativity. We are here to learn from each other’s successes and strategies.

3) Please do not PM him and bother him. If you have a private question, ask for his permission on this thread when appropriate.
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Table of Contents

What’s the hardest thing you had to overcome being an affiliate marketer?

The biggest thing was figuring out what to work on and focus.

There are so many opportunities and once you get a little traction you think you can do it all.

What’s the ideal goal of links acquired per month and how many emails you send to achieve that?

I don’t think there is an ideal since it depends on what you’re trying to do. I’ve also scaled back massively on blasting out emails.

So I can’t give you any solid advice backed by recent experience. I find that longer term networking helps out more for me.

Can you give us an overview of KGR and how it works?There are a lot of people in my group who would love to know more. On a different note, would love to get you in my group for an AMA, too, if you’re up for it. In fact, fancy jumping on a live video podcast?

Good to hear from you!

The Keyword Golden Ratio is a data-driven strategy for finding long-tail keywords that are underserved on the internet (i.e. greater demand for the content than supply).

You use all in title to narrow it down and the formula keeps it very simple.

One of the best things about the KGR formula is that it’s simple and (nearly) foolproof:

The Keyword Golden Ratio must be less than 0.25.

The ratio is:

The number of Google results that have the keyword phrase in the title divided by the local monthly search volume, where the LMS is less than 250.

Yeah, I’m down…I’m insanely busy for the next few weeks but let’s figure out when it makes sense.

Micro niche or macro niche sites are good for affiliate?

Macro…though I’d never use that term.

You want to give yourself the option to expand in the future.

1: Are you building links on your affiliate websites/pages? Question 2: Are you creating affiliate site from scratch or you’re getting domains from? Question 3: What is the tool you use for email blasting?

1. Yes, some.

2. Scratch or buying sites from individuals

3. I don’t email blast. I hate getting those emails so I don’t do it myself…

What is the difference between a niche, sub-niche, and micro niche?

I don’t use those terms so I think you’d have to ask the person using it.

Sounds like it just keeps getting narrower, right? Don’t do that, give yourself the option to expand in the future.

As Google has moved away from ranking pages for single keywords to an understanding of topics and the underlying search intent behind the words being searched, how can KGR be effectively used to choose content topics, niches, or even which keywords within a particular set of keywords are the most viable ones to target?

This is a deep one. I think you’ll be able to find a broad topic, then use the KGR to support that silo/cluster/topic area. That’s what I ended up doing unintentionally.

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You definitely have to watch out when Google changes the query to what it thinks is the intent.

How to recover site which was hit from the latest Google May Core update? Any guidelines/helpful tips?

Pick His Brain! with Doug Cunnington 2


I don’t have specific advice on the recent updates other than to make sure the content is great or at least on par with the competition.

That’s assuming you already did the normal onsite audit.

Being a successful affiliate marketer, how are you dealing with writing content? Let’s say I have got a highly lucrative affiliate niche site. I have little knowledge about it. So what could be a content strategy and content production?

I hire writers. Great writers can do the research and typically produce fine content.

Do you have any strategies for getting backlinks for specific posts(not the homepage) that don’t require ahrefs?

Typically, I try for long term, say a few weeks, of networking and being friendly before asking for anything.

If you can come up with some surverys for data, those can be great to get links to since original data is hard to acquire.

When I search the KW, often a broader post is ranking. So for “best filter for left handed fish tanks over 4ft long” page one of google will be showing results for “best fish tank filter”. So while the specific KGR KW is super low comp, broader posts with tons of links and long form, broad content are ranking. Does this mean I should skip this KW?

I’ll go for them sometimes based on the competition level and the actual searcher intent. Sometimes the “bigger site” isn’t even answering the query.

Also, it’s likely that other related long tails will work out. So give it a test and see how your sites react.

What is the best way to sell an affiliate site?

If you can sell directly to a person, like if you have a list. If you need help, use a broker.

You pay a lot to have the broker help out, but it takes away some of the stress.

People always ask “what’s the best affiliate training out there”? And what they mean by this is “how can I sell other people’s products using the easiest method”?

It depends on what people like from a teacher and what they’re trying to do. So I suggest people try to find someone they like and trust, then see what they have to offer.

If people want general affiliate training, something like Pat Flynn’s course would be great. Other people want more specialized training for infoproducts, etc…

And since I haven’t taken many courses, I can’t say what the best is.

1) What is best way to find buying keywords for ecommerce site? 2) Which tool do you people prefer to search those?

I don’t do much ecommerce SEO, but I suggest researching 5-10 competitors for their keywords with “best” and start from there.

I like KWFinder these days…

What is the recommended H2 tag in a single article? I’ve heard that more than 3 is to avoid is that true?

I haven’t heard that and use as many H2s as needed. I usually stick to H3 & H2, sometimes, but rarely H4.

But I can see the value if you have a deep piece to go farther.

How to overcome fear paralysis/procrastination and be laser-focused at the beginning? Thanks for this great PHB. Any other tips for people that are just starting?

That’s tough. You just have to pick one goal and go for it.

Hopefully, a sorta intermediate goal so you can get some traction.

You’ll probably…definitely make a few mistakes but you should be able to pivot.

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When you start off a new ecom or affiliate site, what are the first type of links you usually build and do you have any recommended vendors?

I like the standard social profiles.

Other than that, I don’t have a strong preference. Usually, it’s networking and manual outreach.

1: best keyboard for fps games (volume= 250 , allintitle= 150) and other keyword is 2: best keyboard for first person shooter games (volume = 250, allintitle= 4)

For that, you should google the term and see what pops up…Google might treat them exactly the same and that means you can pretty much combine the volume and allintitle.

What does your team structure look like, including the full-time VAs/staff and outside contractors/freelancers? What kind of tool stack do you use for the team communication and project management?

2 part time VAs

1-2 part time writers

I’ll spawn up teams of writers as needed for projects.

No Full time – I like it lean.

PM Tools: Trello and some Google sheets

They don’t get equal attention. I try to get people to focus and just work on fewer things. I need to do more of that myself.

Usually, people will gravitate to the projects that are doing the best, and that makes sense to me.

What’s your comeback plan from the Amazon commission slashes?

Add other affiliate programs, ads, and custom deals.

How many Affiliate Websites have you sold over 6 figures?

I have some NDAs in place so I can say 2 or more.

What is the keyword golden ratio formula? And how can I use ahrefs to implement it?

The Keyword Golden Ratio is a data-driven strategy for finding long-tail keywords that are underserved on the internet (i.e. greater demand for the content than supply).

One of the best things about the KGR formula is that it’s simple and (nearly) foolproof:

The Keyword Golden Ratio must be less than 0.25.

The ratio is:

The number of Google results that have the keyword phrase in the title divided by the local monthly search volume, where the LMS is less than 250.

If you go to YouTube and search for the KGR masterclass, you can see a lot more detail on the usage.

How do I find niches with good average tickets?

I assume you mean the price, right.

Hmmm, just find those products that are in the price range you know is high. Not a very specific answer, but maybe I’m misinterpreting the question.

Whats is the content template (structure) you follow when you write your articles? Last question, is that true the longer the article is the better?

I use what I call the perfect affiliate review format.

I think there’s a sweet spot…after many of us marketers took it too far with 10k-15k articles.

So I think if you’re in the 1500-5000 word range that’s long form but not too long.

1. How many articles do you and your team produce per week/per website? On average. 2. Do you update the old content? How often? 3. Who’s doing the linkbuilding part in your team? What type of backlinks works best for you at scale?

1. I don’t publish on an ongoing basis but rather with sprints of work.

2. I don’t have a set schedule but ideally, I’d go for quarterly.

3. The best performers were writers that I trained to do outreach and networking.

What is your top 3 link building strategies or techniques for 2020?

I’m unoriginal in most ways.

1. Guest Posting – Slow, unrushed networking

2. Podcast Guest – Again, you have to trend lightly since people are starting to get more and more pitches.

3. Original stats and data – People like data and linking to it. If you can get some info, like from surveys, you’ll be in great shape.

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