Pick His Brain!
I’d like to introduce one of our members, Jeff Lenney, for our next ‘Pick His Brain’ session and I want to thank him for the participation.
Jeff is a super affiliate who is a consistent high earner.
He is also infamous(?) for making $35k in one day from affiliate marketing.
If you’ve ever thought about getting into an affiliate SEO lifestyle, Jeff is the person to talk to. You can 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 bitcoin 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 success 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.
What is the best way to choose(amazon? Pauper call? )and rank for affiliate?
Pretty broad question man! LOL.
For Amazon, I like to do Top 10 Lists based on items with decent google search volume. (IE: Top 10 Ridable LawnMowers).
For Affiliate Stuff (digital, non amazon), I like to find things with an amazing sales letter that converts.
I’ll rank for the product name itself, product name review, and general phrases that I can use to refer people TO that product with.
Feel free to expand on your question if you want me to clarify more.
How did you get started as an affiliate?
honestly. In 2005, I was making $40k a year doing IT in Orange County CA – NOT a lot of money here.
Started seeing people selling things on eBay (digital guides, etc) and started doing the same.
After a few months I was doing $1k a month on eBay which was AMAZING – bc that was like a $12k per year raise.
But it was taking 5-6 hours a day at that point so I looked into other ways to make money.
Stumbled into Clickbank, and kinda stumbled around for a couple years with no direction.
Just trying small bits of everything until I found I could do really well with YT Videos.
I was doing $5k-$8k a month from Youtube for a while until my channel was banned (3 Videos flagged in one day by competitors).
After that I started focusing on blogs more and building my email list.
The rest is history
What’s the hardest thing about affiliate lifestyle?
Hardest thing, LifeStyle? Does not compute, sorry LOL – I LOVE what I do.
I work from home, I don’t have to get time off to travel or go on vacation, and I don’t have to sit in a car commuting for half the day.
The hardest thing at FIRST was not succeeding – I spent hours, days, weeks, months,years trying and failing.
I mentioned the eBay and Amazon thing in my earlier response – but from eBay in 2005….to Clickbank PROFITS with Youtube was 6 years or so.
So the hardest part initially was putting so much time and effort and getting minimal results.
My girlfriend back thne (who’s now my wife) was VERY patient, but she was getting annoyed bc i was putting so much time into it, it was hurting our relationship.
Once I FOCUSED on just affiliate SEO, and not jumping around all over the place – I saw much better results.
Sorry if i’m jumping all over the place on this response, that’s how my brain works.
What is the best resource for someone to get started in AFF. Marketing including training courses?
How long is a piece of string? The answers are the same – it depends.
Assuming you want to get into SEO Affiliate stuff, being that this is a SEO Group – off top of my head, I’m not sure.
I’m MOSTLY self-taught honestly, I saw what other people were doing, modeled what I did after them, and now I do it better than most of them.
I’m stubborn, which is a blessing, as I don’t quit or give up easily – if I want something.
I put in the time and effort, and I don’t quit if I fail once, or even ten times.
Having said that – SEO Affiliate stuff is not ‘sexy’ right now, to be honest, I’m not sure if i can self promote.
But I did a live training course with Dori Friend in December/January on Launch Jacking, and Affiliate SEO – (Steven Kang , you can remove this if not allowed) http://www.seointelligenceagency.com/Online-Affiliate…/
The live training IS finished, BUT the training is still very relevant and people are getting good results.
How do you determine your niches… eg., do you look at affiliate offers first or secure a marketplace then determine which AF to fulfill its requirements? And, How do you compile your Keyword (phrases) pursuant to such?
For me, It has to be something that doesnt bore me to death. I tried ‘chicken coops’ once, bc there is a lot of search volume – but it bored me to tears.
People say ‘follow your passion’ – i’ll say that’s half true – follow the profit – BUT it does help a LOT if you have an interest in it.
Having said that, I’ll usually look at OFFERS first, check the search volume for that product NAME in Google, and ahrefs.
If the search volume is good (3-5k+ per month and consistent) i’ll consider promoting it.
Again, this is a question that takes MUCH more to answer than a few sentenses – but I hope this helps!
How many PBNs you own?
I don’t have any PBNS – I usually just rent others – I don’t like to have to manage them.
I won’t say who I use, but they can be found in the facebook PBN sellers groups.
How long do you stick with a product during the testing phase?
It depends – some just last a few months if they’re a 7-10 day product launch or w/e – others are evergreen and sell/convert for years.
As for how long i stick with it during testing – I HAVE tried doing PPC before to send traffic to my review pages.
This way I can spend say $20-$50 on paid traffic, and now have to spend a few hundred on backlinks.
1) What is your link building strategy in 2019?
Get a decent idea very QUICKLY as to how my review for that product converts
Do long form sales letters still convert? What other types of landing pages do you use?
I do blog posts – 100% – either info (answering a question), or flat out reviews of a hot product.
Generally, a landing page won’t convert organic traffic – so I just write blog posts (as i mentioned above).
Top 25 Things to add to your Bug Out Bag, for example is GREAT – amazon links galore, and gets shared a ton AND natural backlinks due to being epic content (that’s not my real post title, but that’s the general idea)
Do you write your own content?
I write 100% of my own reviews, but I have 2 writers that do all other content for me. 1 from India, and 1 from the USA.
Do you have a process flow or blue print when it comes to choosing the products, the marketing etc? How would you don’t now If you had to start from 0 with let’s say $500 only?
See that answer here:
I will get to the second part of your question in a bit, on the $500 thing
Launch jacking does it still work? If yes, what are your thoughts process when doing launch jacking and best method?
Yep – launch jacking works VERY well – but it’s good to offer a (real) bonus too.
Put something together that will IMPROVE the product and add real value.
Don’t just add 50 PLR articles and call it a $25,000 bonus for a $47 product – as for the ‘how’ – that’s too long of a question.
But i have a blog post on that here: https://jefflenney.com/internet…/launch-jacking-101/
Looking to create more affiliate sites – do you have a system you follow – does it consistently work?
If somebody tells you their system works 100% of the time – they’re likely lying to you.
Having said that, I don’t have an EXACT system, per say, but I do follow one fairly close.
When I first build out a new site, for example, I want to find ONE product to create a review on, and maybe 4-5 ‘content’ articles just ANSWERING QUESTIONS people search for in Google (I’ll use Answer the Public, ahrefs, google keyword planner, etc to get this data).
I’ll build out a NICE looking site with a paid theme (I use genesis), i’ll get a logo from fiverr for $15 or so – right THERE.
The paid theme and the logo makes your site look 100% better than most other affiliate sites right away, bc you’re putting the effort into making it look good, and not cheap.
Think about this – people decide in UNDER 2 seconds if they want to continue reading your content once they land on your site, so make sure you wow them with the overall look of not JUST the content, but the website itself.
Anyway, I hope this helps? Again – kinda hard to answer such a broad question without creating a full course – but I hope it gives you some ideas.
Did you go all in and create a bunch of sites or did you roll them out over time?
After I build out the initial content – i’ll do maybe 5-10 MORE supporting articles – a mix of content and reviews.
Once i do THAT – maybe after 30-45 days I’ll start slowly with some drip fed social signals, AND maybe 10 PBN links for that month.
I usually just do one at a time, my attn span is too…all over the place…to do too many projects at once and give them my FULL attention.
But yah, before i do a single backlink, i have 10-20 pieces of GOOD CONTENT, and wait at LEAST 30-45 days from once G first indexes the website.
As you said “AND maybe 10 PBN links for that month.”, you link back directly to your money site?
Yeah – of course!
I want to start insurance affiliate site so where to start from?
I would not even try. That’s one of the MOST competitive niches, I would not even touch that one.
But still I can’t give you specific niche guidance and tell you what to do. If you know how to build a site in any niche, the research process is the same.
Still – Insurance – I would not touch it, too damn competitive and it’ll take YEARS and a lot of money to rank and make it worth while
If you had to choose one, Walmart Affliate or Best Buy Affliate?
I’ve never done either…so I can’t speak from experience, unfortunately.
Why not just do Amazon.com tho, or check out stuff on cj.com?
Do you have any specific tracking software you use for all your links/balances/etc, like a dashboard type setup?
Links? Not really, I just monitor them on , majestic, semrush etc – as for balances.
What do you mean? Like accounting stuff? I have an acct do that for me.
Do you use WordPress and if so what plugins do you use?
WordPress, Yep! Plugins, depends on the site.
But at the minimum: all in one seo, pretty links, redirect editor, WP Hyper Speed (paid),fast velocity minify – off top of my head.
Any specific actions you took for GDPR?
Nope! LOL – I don’t SELL products in the EU – I’m just an affiliate, as far as i understand (and this is NOT legal advice).
I don’t need to do much as My focus is primarily the US – and i’m not collecting data myself.
How do you handle traffic from out of the US as far as sending them to European Amazon etc?
You need to get an acct for each amazon, europe, US, etc – amazon has a way to link them all together.
I forget what that’s called off top of my head, sorry lol
What is the average cost of products/services that you sell as an affiliate?
That depends – they range from $47 to $4,000
What is the average size (no. of pages) of your affiliate sites?
That depends, my smaller ones may be just 10-20 pages, my bigger ones are 300+ pages and i’ve had for years.
I’ve also had success with 5-6 page websites, but i tend to expand them bigger once I do
What are your biggest use cases for bigger v. smaller sites? e.g. physical/non-physical, evergreen v not?
Honestly, I just play each scenario by ear. I have a survival niche website now that’s maybe 4 years old, and 30ish posts/pages.
I add new content SOMETIMES – just depends what i feel like doing with it and how that site is growing.
If I start to see that EVERYTHING I posts ranks REALLY easily, then of course i’ll start digging into my KW research and getting more posts up.
Not the perfect answer, I know, but I dont really have a ‘set formula’ I use in this scenario.
As for the TYPES of sites, I do mostly digital products, but i’m starting to do very well with my new amazon sites I’m building too.
Any advice on how to build an authority affiliate site? In your experience, how many months does it take to build an authority site from scratch?
Define Authority Site? When I think of it, I think of a massive site with 50+ pages and 100k+ words of content.
Having said that, when I’m planning on building a LEGIT authority site from scratch.
I’ll take 6-12 months to build it out and rank it – the end game is my goal with big profits in the long run
When launching a new affiliate site, what steps do you take to avoid ne site filters/sandbox?
I wait 30-45 days before I do a single link usually, and make sure the site has at least 5-10 pages of 1k+ words each.
That’s just what I do, I’m sure a dozen other people in here will tell you a dozen diff things
Don’t want to alert G that an SEO is running the site early on, after the 45 days + content – what types of links do you usually go with?
Depends on the site – but generally I’ll start off with some PBNs if i think it’s going to be a smaller site.
Sometimes i’ll mix that in with real guest posts (from outreach I do myself or outsource on odesk).
How or where do you come up with your content for email marketing?
Email Marketing/ I write it myself, or use and modify swipe files. I’ve got a pretty epic blog post (if I can say so modestly) on that topic here: https://jefflenney.com/…/email-marketing-best-practices/
Do you still think the inbox blueprint is the best overall course on email marketing?
Hands down, I worked with Anik Singal as his head coach for 3-4 years.
I did the webinars for thousands of his students, met them in person at events in Vegas, DC, etc.
Still not come across a better email marketing course I’ve got a detailed review (with a bonus).
Here if you want more info: https://jefflenney.com/product…/inbox-blueprint-review/
1) Do you build one huge authority site or multiple smaller ones? 2) What other TRAFFIC sources are you employing in big scale? 3) To become really successful as you’d been what is that UNIQUE thing you do others dont? 4) You use YT so how do you ensure YouTube channels dont get banned, I asked because I had my TY banned twice and later discovered competitors were behind it.
1) Yes (I do both)
2) Other Traffic Sources? I use email marketing, and PPC – but SEO is by far my biggest traffic source and where I put my effort.
Youtube I suppose as well, it’s still organic traffic.
3) The BIGGEST unique thing I do is put time into my CONTENT and CONVERSIONS, i don’t just rank walls of text.
Take a look at any of my big blog posts (like this, for example: https://jefflenney.com/…/best-selling-products-on-amazon/ ) to see the effort I put into making it LOOK good and READ good as well
4) Hard to avoid that sometimes, if competitors do report you, you CAN often refute that with YT.
Sometimes you’ll win, sometimes you won’t – that’s why I dont put as MUCH effort into there now as I used to.
I hope this helps!
When trying to build a new affiliate site, where should I put 90% of my focus?
90%? CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization. i don’t just rank walls of text.
Take a look at any of my big blog posts (like this, for example: https://jefflenney.com/…/best-selling-products-on-amazon/ ) to see the effort I put into making it LOOK good and READ good as well
Could you share one of your sites you owned to have a look?
No, I can not
Well, I guess this one: https://jefflenney.com/
Do you always do niche sites? Or do you have more general review websites?
Niche sites, General review sites are a waste of time and in MY opinion don’t look trustworthy.
If you’re just trying to review every digital product under the sun on one website.
What is your percent of informational posts vs product review blog posts in the beginning?
In the beginning? Probably 1 Review to 3-5 informational posts.
Plus, you can use those for solid internal linking, etc, to help rank and build up authority for the site overall.
What type of informational content can you suggest for the luxury holiday industry?
I have no idea, lol.
I’d suggest checking google, answer the public, ahrefs, etc – to see what people are searching for.
You can also check other blogs in that niche and see what they’re blogging about, for inspiration
1) There was the idea a few years ago (probably by very agressive marketers) who claimed having Google Analytics on their affiliate sites, increased their chances of failing as a part of their business plan. What do you think is a good way to measure engagement on sites? 2) How do you keep up with product link changes? For instance product you wrote about and linked to in Amazon, is removed and leaves a broken link. 3) what does a successful affiliate site look like in terms of knowing you are on the right track? Such as: post three to five info articles for link flow and one affiliate article with link for sales. At what point do you say…let’s increase the number of affiliate links and reduce info articles and link flow creation? 4) How do you go about trusting the vendor you are running traffic to? What do you look for to know they are telling the truth or not? What do you do if you know something is not right? Did you ask them to place a pixel to fire on their Thank you page?
1. I never install GA on my PBNS (when I have them, but usually i just use other peoples).
But I ALWAYS install it and Google Search Console on my money sites. You’d be dumb not to, unless you’re going 100% blackhat.
2. MOST products on amazon I link to are evergreen and have been around a while – having said that.
It’s not been an issue for me YET but I do check them every few months – prob 3-4 tims a year in total.
3. Great question! Hard to answer honestly until you’re ranking and getting traffic to your affiliate links/pages/reviews.
If i’m ranking for a keyword or product that is bringing me tons of traffic, but NOT converting.
Then either something is wrong with my article/review OR something is wrong with the offer.
Then is a good time to start tweaking your content and perhaps improving your CTA (call to action) until things improve.
Over all, tough question though – I dont’ say something is succesfull until I start getting traffic that converts into $$ for me.
4. I’ve been using somebody that was refered to me for PBNS.
(Sorry, I won’t share that person)
But generally, it’s easy to find solid PBN providers by asking around, or just keeping an eye on the PBN groups etc.
I hope this helps!
Do you use CORA of any type of detailed analysis for on-page?
Yes, Yes I do – Cora is expensive, but a fantastic tool and one reason why I out SEO many people.
It’s not the SOLE reason for my success, but it def helps!
1) How do you manage them at same time without spreading yourself thin? 2) What is your most succeessful link Building?
1. I do this full time and I just focus on building MAYBE 1-2 at a time.
Once I rank (for the most part), it’s usually easy to maintain my rankings with minimal effort.
2. Most Succesful link building is using a COMBO of (real) Guest Posts, Plus PBN links.
Gray Hat’ish – but works really quite well
How do you maintain your sites after you get them ranking? Just regular content posted every month?
Ah, more or less – sometimes i wont even post new content if rankings are fine, and i’ll just update the post date.
Which DOES help as google loves ‘fresh’ content.
Do you have a training or coaching program?
We put it out in Dec/Jan, but still 100% relevant for today: http://www.seointelligenceagency.com/Online-Affiliate…/
What do you do when keywords you are ranking for get stuck? Say maybe at page 3 and pbns seem not to push them up.
Make sure my On-Page is PERFECT for that post, then Create 3-5 blog posts of supporting content, and use those to link to the post/page that’s stuck.
1)when building an affiliate site do you prefer a specific product or an affiliate site with all kind of product reviews… 2) If you have done multiple product review site then what is the ranking chances of that site?? 3) Have you ever felt that it is all about link building..like your content is mediocre but with the help of you pbn links you are getting good traffic and conversions..?
1. I normally don’t do a site around one product only, but I’ll do multiple reviews on one site.
2. I don’t understand the question?
3. If you have crappy content, you can still rank, sure – but it won’t convert for shit. Focus on CRO as well as SEO – then do the link building after that.
1) What is your link building strategy in 2019? 2) Do you do tiered link building, does it still work? 3) What SEO tools do you use nowadays?
1. Link Building, I use a lot of PBN’s still (love them!!!), and I’ve been doing some guest post outreach, “niche edit” outreach, and resource page outreach lately.
Those all 3 combined work rather well.
2. I want to get MORE into tiered link building, but yes – it most definitely works.
3. SEO Tools – I Love POP and Cora for on-page optimization, and ahrefs for Keyword and Competitor Research.
For Audits, I mostly use my own brain, and screaming frog.
Hope this helps!
What is your strategy on selecting a product to promote via clickbank?
Well, I’m an SEO so I like Stuff with Traffic, and of course stuff that converts well as well.Simple I know, but it works!
1. Is click bank the main affiliate site you use? 2. Do you only promote digital products?
1. Nope!Clickbank is one of the lesser ones I do, believe it or not, I do a lot of private affiliate networks (no, i won’t share which lol).
2. Nope, just STARTED to get into some amazon affiliate stuff too.
People are turned off by the lower commissions, BUT you can find the right products paying 8%+ and earn $100-$500 a day with some effort put into your site(s)
Does running cold traffic to affiliate offers work very good?
It depends, I know some people to do that via paid traffic on Bing, I have not experimented with it much myself.