19 Examples of Super Successful Affiliate Sites You Should Emulate (Some Of These Sites Literally Make Millions Of Dollars In Affiliate Commissions)

Filed in Affiliate Marketing, Case Studies by on January 24, 2018

What comes to your mind when you think of affiliate sites?

Let me guess.

10 page sites with exact match domains, a generic design, and all the content centred around "reviewing" ClickBank or Amazon products that the reviewer has never seen let alone used.

That’s what most affiliate sites look like.

And that’s EXACTLY why most affiliate sites fail.

The average web user is too smart for that these days, most aren't going to buy a product you recommend based on a "review" of a product you've never used.

Trust me, they can sniff out fake reviews a mile off.

And, they know when your site only exists to make you money rather than to genuinely help them make a purchase decision or solve one of their problems.

And sure, there are exceptions to every rule...

So, just because you heard about a site making insane affiliate commissions every month even though they only had 10 review posts, doesn't mean that's the norm.

Those are rare exceptions.

There's far more "product review site" owners complaining they can barely make any money from their site. You can see plenty of posts in every online marketing Facebook group about it.

As here's the deal...

Affiliate marketing is not and never was a get-rich-quick scheme.

It’s a real business that requires time, patience, quality, and, above all, knowing your customers. Successful affiliate sites don’t rely on occasional income jumps.

They generate consistent revenue throughout the year.

It's not just about writing product reviews based around "buyer keywords" and hoping to skim some traffic from Google and make easy affiliate commissions.

That was something that worked well in the year 2005 when web users were less savvy, but doesn't work nearly so well now.

And really, do you want to build such a low quality site that brings no value to the internet or your visitors?

Thankfully there are dozens of examples of sites doing affiliate marketing the right way (and making a LOT of money as a result...as in millions even).

In this post, I’ll share some of those examples and analyze the reasons why they’re so successful so you can emulate them.

One thing to keep in mind, don't be intimidated by the scale of some of these sites or their traffic numbers and income. Most of them started out small and grew to where they are now over time.

You start small, with big goals in mind, and grow step by step just like most of the sites on this list did. Very few, if any, sites on this list started out as super-affiliates.

Let’s do this...

 

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...

 

 

What You’ll Learn In This Post

  • How to write useful product reviews even if you haven't used a product.
  • Why building a community around your affiliate site is crucial.
  • Why thinking short-term about your affiliate business is plain stupid.
  • Why affiliate marketing doesn't have to mean "small" or "limited" and how to think big instead.
  • Why going niche is the key to affiliate success unless you have a million dollar budget.

 

1. This Is Why I’m Broke

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
4.9M 121K $70,000
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
57 317K 10.7K

 

If you’re looking for the most bizarre, unusual, and useless products that nobody should buy, TIWIB is the site for you.

The strangest thing about this site is that it lists products that normal people don’t buy but they still make thousands of dollars in commissions from Amazon.

The reason?

Their witty product descriptions, extremely unique product selection, and an easy to explore design that can suck you in and keep you scrolling down for hours.

Plus, even though people don't usually buy what they offer they do click on their affiliate links and whenever that happens the affiliate "cookie" is set and they get a commission for anything else purchased after that.

Amazon are masters at making anyone who lands on their site buy stuff even if you didn't intend to go shopping, so TIWIB capitalises on that.

They have several popular product categories on their site especially Gifts for Men, Gifts for Women and Gifts Under $20. Overall, however, the products they choose to promote are pretty expensive but interesting.

 

(RELATED: Want to learn how to make income with affiliate marketing? Then check out NicheHacks Insider)

 

How Do They Make Money

ThisIsWhyImBroke.com makes all of its money from different affiliate programs and partnerships, Amazon Associates being the biggest contributor.

 

Dominant Content Type

They don’t publish detailed buyer guides or blog posts, but their short product descriptions are so well written that they capture the readers’ attention and make them take action.

 

Things They Can Improve

  • Build an email list
  • Start a blog or publish more content to increase their organic search traffic

 

Lessons You Can Learn

More than 50% of their traffic comes from direct sources which means they have a strong brand and people visit them because they trust their reviews.

That’s the power of branding. It reduces your dependency on outside sources and makes you more independent.

 

 

2. NerdWallet

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
11.4M 26.4K $800K
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
83 108K 53K

 

NerdWallet started as a simple credit card comparison blog but has now grown into one of the biggest personal finance sites on the web serving over 11 million visitors per month.

It publishes exceptional content, both in terms of its usefulness and user experience, and helps its readers choose the best credit cards, insurance programs and investment opportunities.

But it’s still an affiliate site.

It makes all of its money through partnerships with different financial services companies. Most of its content can be categorized as reviews and comparisons.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Affiliate partnerships with different financial services

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Reviews
  • Comparisons
  • Blog posts on personal finance tips

 

Most Popular Content

 

Lessons You Can Learn

NerdWallet didn’t start with a huge investment or a lot of content. It started as a pretty simple comparison site but kept improving with time and evolved into one of the best affiliate sites on the web.

This is exactly what you need to do.

Get into affiliate marketing with a long-term vision. Don’t think of it as a way of making a quick buck.

You can earn millions if you’re willing to invest time and effort in building a high-quality affiliate site.

 

 

3. MoneySavingExpert

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
8M 990K $1.5M
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
77 82K 262K

 

I’ve written in detail about MoneySavingExpert in the past but I’m including it in this list because its another perfect example of how you can grow a small affiliate site into a major publication.

MSE started as a one-man project by Martin Lewis. He eventually grew it into the biggest personal finance site in the UK and one of the biggest in the world.

It not only publishes reviews, comparisons and general blog articles but also offers a range of free but highly sophisticated finance tools.

As a result, he managed to sell the site for 87m pounds but kept his position as editor-in-chief (leading a team of 80+ journalists) to maintain content standards.

MSE primarily targets people in the UK and has a hugely credible brand image because of its policy of only promoting or reviewing products that are genuinely useful to its audience.

If you look at it today, MSE appears to be an affiliate empire but it’s just another reminder of what you can achieve as an affiliate marketer if you focus on providing value.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Affiliate partnerships with financial institutions

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Product reviews
  • Comparisons
  • Tools

 

Most Popular Content

 

Lessons You Can Learn

  • Provide value and the best deal to your visitors first even if it means sacrificing an affiliate commission on the first sale as it will mean they'll become a loyal fan of your site and come back time and time again.
  • Finding way to incorporate free tools into your website that people will use and find useful that lead to an affiliate sale is a smart move, just like MSE have done with the finance calculators and loan and credit card comparison tools.

 

(RELATED: Want to learn how to make income with affiliate marketing? Then check out NicheHacks Insider)

 

4. Skyscanner

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
11M 3.87M $2M
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
82 86K 167K

 

Skyscanner is another success story for bedroom affiliate marketers.

You can call it the Google of travel deals and flight prices. But it wasn’t always this big.

Founded by 3 university graduates in 2001, Skyscanner was just an affiliate site helping its users find the cheapest flights around the globe.

Their sole focus was to provide value to their users and help them save money. James, our teammate here at NicheHacks, wrote how Skyscanner saved him more than $1000 in ticket prices.

They kept on doing it for years (making a LOT of money) until they were acquired by Ctrip, the largest travel company in China, for $1.9 Billion.

Most of their traffic comes from Google thanks to their prolific blog content that has dozens of detailed travel guides and tourism focused articles.

Skyscanner makes money through commissions from airlines and hotel partners

But despite such huge success, their core focus hasn’t changed.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Commissions from airlines, hotels, and travel partners.

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Travel guides

 

Most Popular Content

 

Lessons You Can Learn

Identify the biggest problem of your audience and then solve it more effectively than any of your competitors. If you do that consistently, the money will follow.

This is exactly what Skyscanner has done so successfully.

They always show the BEST deal to the customer even if Skyscanner has no affiliate deal with the airline or company as this creates trust and makes the customer come back time and time again knowing they'll always find a good deal.

 

 

5. The Wire Cutter

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
4.5M 481K $30M
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
75 13.5 75.2K

 

The Wire Cutter is a content heavy site that helps consumers find the best products in a variety of categories.

Despite being one of the most popular review sites on the web, The Wire Cutter publishes only a handful of reviews every month.

The reason?

They test every product before reviewing it. Plus, almost every review they publish is a mammoth post of thousands of words.

Take this post as an example

 

 

As a result, people trust their reviews and prefer buying through them.

Just look at the level of engagement on their posts

 

 

The quality of their reviews and their huge audience ultimately resulted in their acquisition by The New York Times for more than $30M.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Commissions from Amazon Associates, Best Buy etc.

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Product review
  • Comparison posts

 

(RELATED: Want to learn how to make income with affiliate marketing? Then check out NicheHacks Insider)

 

Most Popular Content

 

Things They Can Improve

  • Should build their email list more aggressively in my opinion

 

Lessons You Can Learn

The biggest takeaway for me is the amount of work TheWireCutter put into each piece of content they publish. They don’t just copy/paste product reviews to generate search engine traffic.

They spend hours testing every product and write genuinely useful reviews that cover all the pros and cons of the product.

Over the years, this has made them a highly trustworthy source of product reviews with a loyal and dedicated audience.

If you’re planning to start a review site, TheWireCutter is the perfect example to follow

 

 

6. PC Part Picker

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
8M 2.7M  Unknown
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
60 28K 51.1K

 

If you’re looking for a review site with insanely useful content that’s designed to give maximum value to the readers, PC Part Picker is for you.

As the name suggests, it’s a site about PC’s and computer accessories

The brilliant thing about this site is that it doesn’t really look like an affiliate site. At no point do you feel that the site is actually trying to sell you something.

Instead, it has designed all of its content around very specific needs of its readers.

For example, rather than simple posts about the best hard drives or the best motherboards, you’ll find buying guides created around needs like “Creating the Best Gaming PC” or “Building the High Performance PC under $500”

The core USP of PC Part Picker is that it let you assemble your own PC by helping you pick the best parts for your needs.

Of course they earn commissions for every recommendation. But they offer genuine value in return.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Amazon Associates
  • Super Biiz

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Buying guides
  • Comparison posts

 

Most Popular Content

 

Things They Can Improve

  • The blog post titles can be a bit more descriptive.
  • Although they have a free membership signup on the site, I’d still like to a lead magnet to generate more email subscribers.

 

Lessons You Can Learn

PCPartPicker is a great example of putting your customers first and creating content around their needs. But for that to happen, you need to know your customers first.

That’s really the (open) secret behind their success and it has been this way since they started.

Just look at this response to a Reddit thread by the owner of PCPartPicker. This was in 2014.

 

 

If you’re prepared to the same, there’s no reason why you won’t find success.

 

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...

 

 

7. Consumer Search

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
800K 219K  Unknown
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
67 - 3407

 

Consumer Search, as the name indicates, helps consumers find the best and the most reliable products in different categories.

Just like The Wire Cutter, their strength also lies in the authenticity and the credibility of their reviews. Consumer Search has been around since 2000 and has hundreds of reviews in all product categories.

Every review includes a separate buyer’s guide that shares the common factors consumers should consider while buying that particular product.

The quality of content on Consumer Search is great and most of their reviews are genuinely useful.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Commissions from Amazon Associates

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Product Reviews

 

Most Popular Content

 

Things They Can Improve

  • I don’t like the short titles of their reviews. I think they should make them more descriptive and engaging.
  • Their social media presence is negligible which is strange for such a large site.

 

Lessons You Can Learn

As an affiliate marketer, building a trustworthy image and publishing genuinely useful content should your top priorities.

 

8. GearPatrol

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
2.1M 658K $700K
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
70 135K 48.1K

 

Okay so here’s a different kind of affiliate site for you.

Gear Patrol makes most of its money promoting Amazon products. But its content is not as in-depth or detailed as some of the other sites on this list.

They more than make up for it, though, with high-quality photography. Every product review they publish has multiple high-quality pictures of the product from every angle possible.

This has also helped them generate a significant portion of their traffic from Instagram and Pinterest.

Gear Patrol started as an affiliate site but over the years they have diversified their income with Google Adsense and their own eCommerce store.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Amazon Associates
  • Google AdSense
  • eCommerce Sales

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Comparison posts
  • Reviews
  • Buying guides

 

Most Popular Content

 

Things They Can Improve

  • Gear Patrol is a great looking site with very few areas of improvement in my opinion. I do think, however, that investing more time and effort in their content can pay back big time.
  • Links to email subscription and social media profiles are not immediately visible on the site. Should be more prominent.

 

(RELATED: Want to learn how to make income with affiliate marketing? Then check out NicheHacks Insider)

 

Lessons You Can Learn

Don’t underestimate the value of high quality images for your affiliate site.

Adding multiple product images to your reviews not only makes them look better but also helps.

Most affiliates just use any image they can find or the one provided on the affiliate network but buying the products and taking your own high definition photos can make a huge difference as you can see.

 

 

9. BestReviews

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
5.4M 27.7K  Unknown
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
51 24K 4.5K

 

BestReviews is an affiliate marketing giant. It’s one of the largest online product review sites on the web with a team dozens of writers, dedicated product testers, and their own testing labs.

Till now they have reviewed thousands of products covering almost all consumer product categories.

Obviously, you cant compete with them as a bedroom marketer.

But you can still learn from them.

Have a look at the depth of their product reviews and the structure of their content. They are so comprehensive that a buyer doesn’t need to research anymore after reading them.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Amazon Associates
  • Jet Affiliate Program
  • Walmart Affiliate Program
  • Target Affiliate Program

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Product reviews and comparisons

 

Most Popular Content

 

Lessons You Can Learn

As I said, you cant compete with BestReviews but you can learn from them and apply their content model to a more niche topic.

They cover every consumer product on Amazon.

You don’t need to do that.

Focus on a very specific niche, create great content and dominate that niche.

The next site on this list did just that.

 

 

10. SafeWise

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
Unknown
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
13,000+ 1,400+

 

SafeWise calls it's self a "professional review site" and focuses only on Home Security Systems (always a lucrative niche whenever protection and family are involved).

They focus on simple and clean design and high quality how to, comparison and product review posts.

They clearly highlight their top product picks in each post to increase click through via their affiliate links.

Whilst they do have a team the focus is not on any one person or individual. You'd almost not know who was behind the website unless you clicked to the "about" page and went looking.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Affiliate deals with home security companies
  • Direct partnerships with brands

 

Dominant Content Type

  • How To posts
  • Product Comparisons
  • Product Reviews
  • Buyers Guides

 

Most Popular Content

 

Things They Can Improve

  • There seems to be no focus on growing an email list - I didn't stumble across any opt in box even by accident. They could double their traffic and income if they did.
  • They have social channels and despite an impressive Facebook following there's next to no interaction on the page. SafeWise just post their content and nothing else. They could easily build a thriving community with this topic.

 

Lessons You Can Learn

  • Keep your design simple and clean as it makes for easier reading, navigation and click through to your affiliate links.
  • Make your affiliate links / buttons stand out on the page like SafeWise do by with bug buttons, star ratings and coloured boxes to increase clicks.
  • Don't just create "reviews" but "how to" content also.

 

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...

 

11. Making Sense of Cents

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
500K 35K $100,000
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
58 87K 18.2K

 

Making Sense of Cents is a popular personal finance blog. It’s also one of my favorite sites on this list.

Don’t get fooled by the beautiful design and the high quality of content. It’s still very much an affiliate site that earns more than 70% of its revenue promoting different products.

Michelle started this blog to share her personal story of how she managed to pay off her student loan and build a location independent life just by making intelligent money-related decisions.

In between, she writes reviews and shares recommendations for different products that earn her commissions.

Over the years, she has expanded her focus and now covers many of the conventional MMO topics as well.

This is another example of a one-(wo)man site that has grown into a sizeable online business.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Affiliate commissions
  • Digital course sales
  • Advertising

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Conventional blog posts sharing tips on making and saving money

 

Most Popular Content

 

Lessons You Can Learn

Affiliate marketing doesn’t always have to be done directly with product reviews and comparison posts.

Like Michelle, you can weave affiliate marketing with your personal story and make it an embedded part of your content.

What Michelle has achieved in 4-5 years with her blog is inspirational. But you can do the same with consistency and hard work.

 

 

12. WhatMomsLove

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
61K 112 $20K
Domain Authority Instagram Followers Twitter Followers
31 137K 19416

 

With more than 200K email subscribers and social media followers, WhatMomsLove.com is a unique affiliate site in more ways than one.

It generates almost 60% of its traffic from social networks like Instagram and Pinterest, while more than 20% of its visitors are email subscribers.

A great example to follow if you want to reduce your dependency on search traffic.

Like all great sites, it’s built around a well-defined need which is helping new moms manage their babies and their life better.

The owner, Aly, is herself a mom to 3 kids and knows the struggles of balancing the needs of a young family with work commitments.

Tips and How-To posts dominate the content on WhatMomsLove. But there are plenty of product reviews and recommendations in between.

And even normal blog posts have links to products that are useful to young mothers. Their content also stands out because of lots of high quality images and product videos.

Overall, this site is another example that even broke bedroom marketers can emulate because it is purely built on the strength of its content and the community built around it.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Amazon Associates
  • Google AdSense

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Blog posts sharing tips for young mothers
  • Product reviews and round-ups

 

Most Popular Content

 

Things They Can Improve

With so much traffic coming from social media and email subscribers, they have a great opportunity to experiment with SEO and try increasing their search traffic as well.

Because if they fail, they have nothing to lose.

 

(RELATED: Want to learn how to make income with affiliate marketing? Then check out NicheHacks Insider)

 

Lessons You Can Learn

  • High-quality content has no substitute.
  • You CAN build a thriving affiliate site WITHOUT worshipping Google Search.

 

 

13. The Rounding Sound 

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
187K 1.5K  Unknown
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
24 - -

 

The Rounding Sound is an affiliate blog focused on headphones, mic, and general music gear.

It’s another blog that shows what great content can help you achieve even if you’re short on resources.

It’s clearly a one-man site with a very basic design and a clear focus on making affiliate income. Yet, it has been successful because its content provides value.

It’s obviously not a million dollar blog, but I’m sure its making a few thousand dollars every month on auto-pilot, which should be a source of motivation for any newbies reading this post.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Affiliate commissions from Amazon Associates

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Product reviews

 

Most Popular Content

 

Things They Can Improve

No email list and no social media presence means the owner of this site has gone for the typical low cost affiliate site strategy.

If I owned this, I would’ve certainly invested more effort in building these long-term assets.

 

Lessons You Can Learn

Niche focus and great content can still get you a long way even if you don’t have a lot of resources.

 

 

14. HeadPhonesAddict

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
200K 1.2K  Unknown
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
28 - -

 

Now here’s slightly better affiliate site on an even more niche topic. HeadPhonesAddict doesn’t cover anything but headphones.

You can find reviews for almost every kind of headphones on this site.

They’ve done a better job at branding and website design than TheRoundingSound

Plus, their content also seems to be richer with more information and better comparisons.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Affiliate commissions from Amazon Associates

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Product reviews

 

Most Popular Content

 

Things They Can Improve

  • Should include more images in reviews as this is a visual niche where the style and design is often as important as the sound.
  • Should look to build an email list as this will safeguard their traffic and income.

 

Lessons You Can Learn

The main takeaway from this site is niche focus. Look how they’ve dedicated a ton of content to just one product.

They’ve dived deep into the headphone niche and created the ultimate resource for any headphone buyers.

Though they've taken it to a level of quality most product review websites just don't do. This isn't your standard product review site that just writes any old re-hashed junk on products they've never used.

 

 

15. Website Setup

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
1.12M 19.5K 500K
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
28 19.2K 1.8K

 

Web hosting is one of the most competitive niches on the web.

Everyone seems to be writing these “How To Setup a Website” or “The Best Web-Hosting” kind of posts.

But despite so much competition, Robert Mening has been able to make websitesetup.org one of the most popular sites in this niche.

The strength of this site lies in 2 things.

  • Exceptionally useful and detailed content on a variety of topics not only about web hosting but general blogging tips as well.
  • An extremely strong backlink profile with links from some of the most popular and authoritative blogs on the web.

But content is the primary reason why this sit has so many high authority links.

Just look some of the guides he has published

 

 

The site claims to have helped almost 300,000 people start their sites on BlueHost.

If you consider the avg. commission of $65 per BlueHost sale, it means the site has earned almost $20 million since its inception in 2013.

 

(RELATED: Want to learn how to make income with affiliate marketing? Then check out NicheHacks Insider)

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Affiliate commissions mainly from BlueHost and a few other web hosting companies

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Web hosting tutorials
  • Blogging and content marketing tips

 

Most Popular Content

 

Things They Can Improve

  • Build an email list and safe guard their income.
  • Add all the articles under a blog section. Currently, it’s a bit hard to find blog articles.

 

Lessons You Can Learn

Robert has dominated a very competitive niche because of his relentless focus on in-depth and high quality content.

Publishing such great content has also allowed him to reach out to other websites to build backlinks.

 

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...

 

 

16. EveryDayCarry

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
1.46M 150K 500K
Domain Authority Instagram Twitter Followers
44 190K 139K

 

Most of us have some stuff that we usually carry wherever we go with a survivalist element thrown in.

Well, this affiliate site is about such stuff and how different people carry it every day.

Sounds like a weird topic but EveryDayCarry is such a big brand now that more than 50% of it’s 1.4 Million monthly visitors come from direct sources.

 

 

It started in 2010 as a Tumblr blog but soon grew into a hugely popular community with almost a cult-like following.

On EDC you’ll find reviews and buyer guides on different bags, pouches, and normal stuff that people carry during travel like scissors, flashlights, knives, wallets etc.

They have cool features like when you hover over an image on their site of a product it will show you hiw many people have bought it in order to use social proof and give you a nudge that you should buy it too.

 

Dynamic content with social proof and affiliate links

 

They also allow their users to upload their "every day carry" gear which makes the readers part of the site and a community, plus EDC then monetize the user generated content with affiliate links

In terms of content quality, this site is an example every affiliate marketer should follow.

Plus, they have a pretty well-rounded content strategy that includes reviews, buying guides and blog posts on relevant topics.

On top of that, they’ve made a conscious effort to turn as many visitors into subscribers as possible by using pop-ups and opt-in boxes on their site.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Affiliate commissions from Amazon Associates

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Reviews and Buying guides

 

Most Popular Content

 

Lessons You Can Learn

It is rare to see a such, especially as huge as EDC, to have more than 50% direct traffic.

This shows that the site has a high number of return visitors and they have a pretty strong community around their blog.

Another reason for this could be the fact that EDC also has an active forum on its site with thousands of members.

Either way, it’s a pretty good way to reduce your dependency on Google Search.

Also, having a social proof element with the dynamic content and the user generated content makes this a really interactive and fun site for the users.

 

17. MinimalistBaker

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
4.6M 371K  Unknown
Domain Authority Instagram Followers Facebook Fans
979K 282K

 

Minimalist Baker is your one-stop shop for mouthwatering cuisines and recipes.

Dana and her husband John started this blog in 2012 which has now grown into a massive community with more than 4 million visitors per month.

Plus, they have almost a million followers on different social media platforms.

Minimalist Baker doesn’t rely entirely on affiliate income but it’s still a pretty big part of its revenue.

It’s a beautifully designed blog with a lot of emphasis on images and visuals which is understandable considering the niche it’s in.

 

(RELATED: Want to learn how to make income with affiliate marketing? Then check out NicheHacks Insider)

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Affiliate commissions from Amazon Associate
  • Google AdSense
  • Selling Digital Courses

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Recipes
  • Healthy eating tips

 

Most Popular Content

 

Things They Can Improve

They need to get rid of at least a couple Google ad units, especially the one that pops up at the bottom of the screen. Really annoys me.

 

Lessons You Can Learn

Minimalist Bakers doesn’t have a hundred people working for them. They started small in 2012 and have gradually grown into the brand that it is today.

And it’s not just their blog that has grown.

They have built a YouTube channel with more than 20K subscribers and have more than 500K followers on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook which has opened up many other revenue generation opportunities for them.

They’re just two people but they have built a huge brand.

You can do the same with consistency and quality content.

 

 

18. The Points Guy

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
9.29M 666K  Unknown
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
67 1.76M 286K

 

ThePointsGuy is a travel and lifestyle blog that helps people find the best travel and accommodation deals using different credit cards.

The site publishes nearly 600 posts per month and has a full-time staff of around 25 people.

They’re big, I know.

But they started out as a one-man blog (not a site, a simple blog) in 2010. Brian Kelly, CEO ThePointsGuy, used to share travel advice and deals on his site and made commissions from credit card sales.

He didn’t make millions back then and didn’t have the resources that he has now.

He identified a niche and kept on providing value to his readers month after month, year after year.

Sounds like something anyone can do, right?

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Commissions from credit card sales

 

Dominant Content Type

  • Product reviews
  • Travel guides
  • Deal round-ups

 

Most Popular Content

 

Lessons You Can Learn

ThePointsGuy is a content heavy site publishing around 20 posts per day, which is a lot. Content is the main driving force behind the credit card sales they’re generating.

Plus, they have a dedicated team that repurposes text content into videos, infographics and other forms of content which helps them maximize its impact.

It all happens with time, of course. But the key is to stay consistent and keep adding value.

 

(RELATED: Want to learn how to make income with affiliate marketing? Then check out NicheHacks Insider)

 

19. The Military Wallet

 

 

Key Stats

Estimated Monthly Traffic Total Backlinks Approx. Monthly Revenue
480K 53.4K  Unknown
Domain Authority Facebook Fans Twitter Followers
57 12.5K 1.6K

 

I’ve already shown you an affiliate site about personal finance and saving money.

TheMilitaryWallet, however, is an affiliate site targeting the same topic for a much narrower niche.

It helps military veterans and their families make better financial decisions after leaving the military.

It shares money saving tips, ways veterans can generate income, tax related info, and many other veteran-specific legal matters.

It makes most of its money by sharing different deals and discounts that veterans can claim using specific credit cards.

Again, this is another very basic site that completely relies on its content to generate traffic and income.

It targets a popular topic from a different angle and caters to a very specific niche which has turned it into a reliable information source for thousands of veterans.

A really good example to follow.

 

How Do They Make Money

  • Google AdSense
  • Commissions from Credit Card sales
  • Affiliate commissions from Amazon Associates

Dominant Content Type

  • Blog posts
  • Veteran specific discount & deal roundups

 

Most Popular Content

 

Things They Can Improve

  • The homepage looks very cluttered with multiple Google ad boxes.
  • The email newsletter sign-up box in the side bar is useless. Needs to be replaced with a lead magnet.
  • Blog post titles should be more descriptive and better optimized for search engines.

 

Lessons You Can Learn

The owner of this site is a military veteran himself and knows the problems his fellow military men face after returning to civilian life.

He has used this knowledge to create a helpful resource that solves this very specific problem.

He doesn’t seem to have a big marketing budget and all the growth of his site seems to be on the back of its content.

It must’ve taken time, but slowly he has been able to create a community around his blog that now earns him consistent affiliate commissions.

 

The Common Lessons You Can Learn from Successful Affiliate Sites

Most of the sites on this list are quite different from each other both in terms of content and monetization methods.

But their success is built on the same principles.

Here are some of the key takeaways from this diverse list of affiliate sites.

 

1. Affiliate Marketing Demands Hard Work and a Long-Term Approach

Did you find any one-page site on this list?

While researching for this post, I tried looking for “typical affiliate sites” making money consistently for long period of time.

I couldn’t find any.

Affiliate marketing is a serious business and demands a long-term approach.

It requires a deep understanding of the needs of your target audience, a lot of work in finding the products that fulfil their needs, and a consistent effort in creating high-quality content.

Rookie marketers make the mistake of thinking because they are "just" an affiliate they don't have to put as much effort in, provide value to the end user or solve problems.

They are dead wrong!

The fact you are simply a middle man and recommending products that you get a commission from means you have to put MORE effort, provide MORE value and solve problems to the best of your ability.

Why?

Because, as soon as someone finds out you're getting a commission they instantly become suspicious of your recommendation and question your motive.

So you really need to go the extra mile to put their mind at ease and show them you have THEIR best interests at heart.

That's why many sites on this list from Skyscanner to MoneySavingExpert and beyond will also recommend products and offers where they don't get any commission but the deal is good for the customer, it shows you genuinely do care for them over your own needs.

 

(RELATED: Want to learn how to make income with affiliate marketing? Then check out NicheHacks Insider)

 

2. Only Promote Products You Believe In

When you write fake reviews just make a quick commission, the reader can easily see it.

Almost every site on this list, even the smaller ones, tests products before reviewing them.

I know it can be hard for broke marketers to test every product.

But at least research them before writing a review.

You can find lots of first-hand experiences if you search for a product. Read them, find pros and cons and try to make your review as useful for the reader as possible.

 

3. Bedroom Marketers CAN Build Six-Figure Affiliate Sites

There are multiple sites on this list, earning six-figures per month, that are owned and managed by common people like you and me.

They didn’t have millions of dollar in marketing budgets when they started.

But they had a passion for their niche and they were ready to work hard for it.

MakingSenseofCents, TheMinimalistBaker, 10Beasts etc. are all owned by common folks who didn’t give up and kept on providing value to their readers.

With time, their audience grew and they were able t monetize it.

 

4. People Love Genuinely Useful Product Reviews and Buying Guides

There’s nothing wrong with publishing product reviews only as long as they are genuinely useful and help people make better buying decisions.

People don’t have a problem with you earning a commission on their purchases. In fact, it makes no difference to them.

They’re worried about finding the right products that fulfill their needs.

If you can do that consistently, you’ll earn money no matter what niche you’re in.

Just remember, people don't buy products for the "features" they buy it for the problem that product solves. How it makes their life easier and stress free.

So don't just write about the product features like they can find on the manufacture website or on Amazon (they could just skip your website completely if that's all you offer).

Instead, focus on their problem the reader has and how the product in question solves it and gives them their desired end result. This is how you make real money as an affiliate.

 

5. Your Community is Your Biggest Asset

Don’t treat your affiliate site like a "create and forget" kind of investment.

Spend time understanding your audience and its needs, and work on building a community around your site.

You have no idea about the power of a vibrant community

There are a couple of sites on this list that won't blink an eye even if Google wipes them off its search index.

Why?

Because more than 80% of their traffic comes directly or from their social media groups.

 

6. The ONLY Way To Compete With the Big Publishers is By Going Niche

You cant compete with BestReviews, ConsumerSearch and other similar review giants.

But you can claim a small chunk of their market share (which is more than you can handle) by going niche.

Instead of reviewing every product under the sun, find unique angles to popular niches and build a dedicated following. The Military Wallet is a great example of this.

 

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...

 

 

When Are You Launching Your Affiliate Site?

Shouldn’t take long, really.

Just find your niche, research your audience and get to work.

Unlike popular belief, there’s still a LOT of opportunity for small publishers in the affiliate.

But you need a change of mindset to take advantage.

Stop thinking short term or treating affiliate marketing as a 100% passive income source.

It’s not.

Do the work that is required, provide value to your community and earn big.

Simple.

Let me know if you have any confusions.

 

Comments (18)

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  1. Jon says:

    Most of these affiliate sites were review sites. Is that the best route to take? Also they were affiliates for multiple products is it best to do that or start with one product you truly believe in and possibly expand from there?

    • NicheHacks says:

      15 of the 23 sites on the list are not "review" sites.

      Personally I think no, it's not the best route to take. There's too many reviews of everything online these days, it's hard to stand out doing that.

      Build a site that exists to solve a problem or is based around a passion and then you'll have ENDLESS products to promote (which may include doing some reviews) and you'll never be stuck for content ideas and aren't too reliant on Google traffic (which most review sites are).

  2. obi kenobi says:

    Thank you. Nice article, really good examples and breakdown of affiliate sites. Good food for thought 🙂

  3. Hammad Hussain says:

    Good to get motivation before starting my first ever affiliate site on Parenting niche on which I believe I will add value with the help of my team. All these websites have a good team behind may be at start the single person handle the project but when your project start growing try to build the team of right people who also have the same interest to go in a long run.

  4. I love these reviews which boost my confidence as an affiliate. If you can also review several health niche and pets niche. That will be plus. Again, thanks

  5. Chandigarh says:

    Hey,
    I have found very useful ideas from this list. Do you think people like me who are new have still chance to outrank these websites??

    • NicheHacks says:

      No you won't be able to easily outrank them as a newcomer but that shouldn't be your aim / worry anyway. Rankings are just one of many traffic sources (an often unpredictable one too that has no guarantee) so there's no reason to try when you can choose different traffic sources AND / OR completely different niches.

      When we say "emulate" we don't mean COPY. We mean take inspiration from and learn from and use the good parts in your own website.

  6. Abhijeet says:

    Love to read in-depth articles like this, as an affiliate marketer I learned something new today!

  7. Oliver says:

    I an elderly beginner and as such I find the page examples shown here more discouraging than everyhing else. Certainly not your intention, but that´s how I feel when I look at them. So what to do if I have no special knowledge about a certain subject or a hobby which is of interest for more than a handful people ? Shouldn´t we be passionate about what we do - but what about those whose passion is centered around things not of common interest ? And not everyone has the time to do extended product tests, not to mention the investemet I have to do then, as certainly no manufacturer will give his products for a review to a nobody. What else is left then as to create a page as mentioned on top by you - something centered around product reviews of products never seen or tested personally ?

    • NicheHacks says:

      No one said you HAD to build a website around a hobby. But everyone has special knowledge aka knows more about a certain topic than others, everyone. You don't need to be an expert you just need to know more.

      It's hard to imagine there's any interest you have that others don't share. You can't be that unique.

      And if honestly you don't know anything about anything and can't share any knowledge that helps other people why should you be able to make money from people? I mean, you're asking hard working people to hand over their hard earned cash to you. Of course you need to know something and give them value.

      And if you don't have time that's up to you. Building a business and making money takes time and effort and knowledge and skill. Some of that you might have right now some of it you might have to learn. But if you won't commit the time then you can't have all or any of it and that means you can't expect hard working people to hand over their hard eanred cash to you.

      If you're not willing to spend your own money or time on things don't expect othrs to spend it with you.

      And no, the manufacturers won't send you products you are correct. And neither they should. Why would you expect them to? IT would create bias anyway.

      The best review sites (like BestReviews.com buy them all independently and test them without bias) but anyway, you could always review products you already own and use (recommended) or just not focus on product reviews at all, it's just one of 1000's of ways to make money as you should be able to see from the post that shares endless examples of ways people make money other than reviewing products.

      Remember the internet and people of the world don't owe you money just because you threw together a website and added some affiliate links to it. You do actually have to solve problems and provide value to them.

      • Oliver says:

        Many thanks for your open words. Maybe online marketing / business really is not for all of us out there - at least not for exactly those hard working people mentioned by you, as these usually don´t have so much time beside their full time job and the family. So much about the countless promises from certain online marketers suggesting otherwise, saying everyone can do it - of course with some "help" - i.e. their very own products.

        • NicheHacks says:

          Almost every successful online marketer today started where you are now, with a job, not enough money, and little time. They still made it happen. Everyone has 24hrs in a day.

          Everyone can do it in theory, not everyone WILL do it however.