[Case Study] How To Create A $20,000+ p/m Amazon Affiliate Site Like This Weird Example

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Would you like to to see an example of a VERY successful Amazon affiliate site so you can copy it?

Well this WEIRD affiliate site is a GREAT example.

As not only are they a SUPER affiliate but they do it in a very unusual way.

Usually the secret to affiliate marketing is to pick great products that really solve your audiences problems so they bite your hand off to buy.

With this site they specialize in showing their audience products that are so outlandish 90% of them will never get bought....

...yet they still make an reported $20,000+ a month in earnings online from Amazon as an affiliate alone which you'll learn more about below.

This case study is on $20,000+ affiliate per month site ThisIsWhyIAmBroke.com a incredibly cool site far away from the typical affiliate site.

(BTW: If you want an in-depth blueprint on how to build a site exactly like TIWIB.com then it's one of the 10+ 'Business Blueprints' available to you after you join 'NicheHacks Insider' here)

Find out how they make an estimated $20K+ a month and how you can copy them below...

Disclaimer: Just in case it's not obvious I am not claiming that if you create a site like TIWIB you will be guaranteed to make $20,000 - you might but you might also make $0. It's an example of what's possible.

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

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

What You'll Learn About This Example Amazon Affiliate Site:

  • How to build your own "niched down" version so you're not directly competing with them.
  • The "secret" used by site owner Adam to give massive value to his audience and in return make more more from them without directly selling.
  • Ideas for similar style affiliate sites you can create and profit from

What is This Is Why I'm Broke?

This Is Why I'm Broke (TIWIB) shares unusual items, cool products and geeky gadgets across multiple categories that they find around the web.

Gadgets, wearable items, food & drink, home and office, toys and more.

Some of the weird stuff on sale

Some of the weird stuff on sale

It was NOT the first affiliate website of this type.

But it was the first that really focused on user experience and engaging the visitor over just listing unusual products and trying to make money.

amazon affiliate websites examples

The Website

Why Was The Site Started?

The site was born in 2011 by Adam Freedman who had previously struggled to make money online with many failed ventures. (Source)

He started the site because he followed similar websites and thought he “could improve on their experience with a better website design and higher quality products presented” (Source)

For example it was the first site of it's type to use infinite scrolling.

They added humor and wit in the product descriptions.

An example of their quirky product descriptions

An example of their quirky product descriptions

Spent time improving product images over Amazon's standard ones.

Carefully selected products rather than just adding anything slightly unusual.

And put a lot of thought into what order products appear on the site.

But they don't make money unless they promote interesting products.

And it's not as simple as you think.

So here's how they choose what to feature...

What Are They Promoting?

Unusual, cool, geeky and sometimes useless products from space invader chairs to camera lenses coffee cups to jet packs to bacon vodka.

You'll find gadgets, gizmos, gear, quirky products, concepts and more.

It includes products from big retailers such as Amazon and Ebay.

T niche stores like ThinkGeek and Firebox and sites like Etsy and Kickstarter.

Not every product  is on sale they feature any products they think have the 'wow' factor even concept products that have not yet been created.


Some of the weird products on sale

The reason behind this is so to create value.

If every product they feature just leads to an Amazon link it just becomes about getting affiliate link clicks rather than sourcing out and sharing unusual and cool products.

They find products to feature by signing up to the RSS feeds of 100's of different blogs and retailers around the net that feature or sell unusual products and check on a daily basis for inspiration.

And featuring products alone won't make you money.

(RELATED: Discover how to find the most lucrative affiliate products on the net with NicheHacks Insider)

Here's how they make money from it all

How Do They Make Money?

The site utilizes the Amazon associate affiliate program, Ebay Partner Network and various other affiliate programs such as Think Geek, Firebox, Wicked Lasers, Hammacher and more.

Not all products are affiliate products or even on sale.

Many simply have the wow factor that it takes to get featured.

But for Amazon, Ebay and the other retailers that they have an affiliate relation with any time someone clicks a link on TIWIB and lands on the retailers website an affiliate cookie is set.

Amazon has just a 24hr cookie, meaning your visitor has just 24hrs to buy something for you to get a commission, but other sites have much longer cookie durations.

I've mentioned before that it's estimated they make over $20K p/m on Amazon (Source).

But that's just ONE affiliate program out of scores.

Wondering how much they make it total.

You'll be amazed...

How Much Do They Make In Total?

An estimated $20,000+ per month from Amazon alone which accounts for 66% of their income. (Source)

So it could easily be over $50,000 in total.

This is not including income from other affiliate programs and Google Adsense.

Of course it's all speculation as Adam, the owner, won't reveal how much he makes in public.

Amazon is the main affiliate program they link to as most people will never buy the products they feature but go on to buy something more practical from Amazon which still nets them a commission.


Comment from TIWIB owner on Reddit

Another important thing for you to consider is how they turn visitors into money...

Why Does The Site Convert So Well?

The site is designed to get affiliate link clicks due to the large enticing images, well positioned buttons and great calls to action that send you off to the retailers websites.


The big enticing affiliate buttons

Almost everyone who visits the site will end up on a retailers site whether they planned to or not and this sets the affiliate cookie.

Even if you don't make a purchase immediately the cookie will last for a certain duration and any purchases you make throughout that time will result in an affiliate commission being paid.

And remember the products they feature are so outlandish most will never get bought.

But their business model is simply to get the affiliate cookie set and rake in commissions from the other items people DO go on to buy.

A website is nothing without traffic so let's look at that...

How Many Visitors Per Month?

2,800,000+ per month (Source)

Who Visits The Site?

Primarily men from the United States of college age. (Source)

How Many Social Media Followers?

Facebook: 305,000 followers
Twitter: 5,236 followers
Pinterest: 7,358 followers
G+: 11,388

The above data will change frequently and likely be far more by the time you read this.

(RELATED: Learn how to profit from affiliate marketing with step by step blueprints and execution plans in NicheHacks Insider)

6 Things That Makes TIWIB Successful

Let's look at the 6 most important things, which I believe, makes TIWIB most success.

And that you should focus on if you want to create a similar site.

1. Branding and a Great Name

The name is memorable, quirky and fits in with the concept of the site.


The logo

2. Cool Concept

It's not unique nor the first site of it's type.

But they put effort into the design, style and user engagement.

And the quirkiness in the content combined with the unusual products makes it a great site that people want to visit time and time again.

3. Great User Engagement

They engage the user with their humor and wit.

The infinite scroll feature keeps you browsing an endless amount of products.

And they get you interacting with them on social media and in the comments.

It's built with the users in mind and to give them a fun experience.

Not aimed solely at 'making money' even though it's great at making money.

4. Ease Of Sharing For Viral Traffic

It's designed to get people sharing the products featured which spreads the word.


The easy to find social buttons

5. Intelligent Product Placement That Makes You Go 'Wow'

Most people won't realize this but a lot of thought goes into the product placement and order on the site to keep it fresh.

For example they will place a cute animal toy next to chainsaw gun next to house gift which adds to the shock factor.


Comment on Reddit from TIWIB.com

6. It's Designed To Convert

The site is designed to entice clicks from visitors even if they don't intend to buy the product.

Instead of 'buy here' buttons they use clever copy such as 'check it out' which gets people clicking to see more and landing on the retailers page.


Big check it out buttons

They might not intend to buy anything at that point but the cookie is set and anything they buy throughout the duration of the cookie gets them a commission. 

People use Amazon to buy all sorts of products on a regular basis.

Those are the 6 things that really make TIWIB as successful as they are.

Now let's look at their traffic and the lessons you can learn from it...

Where Do They Get Traffic?

The traffic is driven almost entirely by social media though people sharing their content.

In the beginning they used Reddit and Stumbleupon paid ads including the legendary “Not Safe For Wallet” ad on Reddit.

Not Safe For Wallet

Not Safe For Wallet Ad

But it didn't really kick off until someone posted about it on the first page of Reddit causing it to go viral all over the web.

This was the catalyst which caused a storm of social media sharing across all platforms which continues today.

They now do very little in the form of paid advertising or marketing.


Advertising on Reddit was the first thing they did

Instead relying on their users to share across the web on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, G+, Tumblr, Stumbleupon, forums, blogs and more.

Search engine traffic is near non existent (likely due to the short descriptions most products have). (Source)

The owner Adam has stated that their best converting traffic source is a little known link exchange network called Knowd (Source)

(RELATED: Discover the 7+ different affiliate marketing business blueprints in NicheHacks Insider)

Lessons To Be Learned From This Successful Affiliate Site Example?

  • Create something that you love and that other people want or need and can get excited about.
  • Don't focus on 'trying to make money' but on a great user experience, engaging your visitor, making your site a fun / useful place for people to visit. People hate being sold to buy they love to buy.
  • Give your users a reason to return time and time again and tell their friends about it and if you've picked a solid idea that is monetizable the money will follow.
  • Continually be optimizing your site for clicks. They are split testing and making changes constantly to try and improve conversion rates.
  • Create something that has the potential to go viral across the web.
  • Don't be afraid to try an out the box business model, TIWIB make their money from featuring products very few people will ever buy!
  • There's more to the Amazon affiliate program than just creating basic product review sites and trying to rank in Google.
amazon affiliate websites examples

The logo

3 Things That Could Be Improved / Changed

Here's some changes I would implement if I was creating a site like TIWIB...

1 Email marketing - they have an email list but depending on what design they are split testing sometimes there's no email opt in on the site which is a huge mistake.

Being able to send an email out and drive traffic back to your site on demand is an affiliate websites dream.

2. Content marketing – they have a blog but it's often neglected for months at a time and isn't given the attention it deserves.

This could be used to draw in search engine traffic and blog readers who might not really be into the style of site This Is Why I Am Broke.com is but still like to read about gadgets and cool products.

Starting and maintaining a blog would be key.

3. Product Giveaways / Competitions - I could see this being a huge viral success.

Basically give away some of the products they feature in a competition where people have to share on social media to enter.

You could reach thousands of interested people and drive them back to your site.

Let's now look at ways you can create a similar site...

Ideas For Similar Sites You Can Create.

Simply trying to copy them straight up isn't the way forward unless you can better their design, improve on user engagement, write better product copy and create better images.

They do this too well for most people to compete.

There's already dozens of competitors out there doing similar such as:

  • DudeIWantThat.com
  • ShutUpAndTakeMyMoney.com
  • TheGreenHead.com
  • WalletBurn.com
  • TheGadgetFlow.com
  • OddityMall.com

A competitor site

The trick is to create a site similar but 'niched down'.

All of these sites are promoting much of the same products.

And trying to appeal to everyone and anyone with gadgets and cool things from multiple different categories.

By picking one single category and focusing just on that you could create a niche site that appeals to one type of person.

Yet still has the cool factor and viral appeal of This Is Why I Am Broke.com.

Instead of focusing on all cool products and gadgets focus just on kitchen / food & drink or home and office or unusual pet products.

Or pick a demographic like 21-30 year old males or 35+ year old women and publish things they like only.

You could create a whole site around geeky kitchen items or weird office products.

There's no shortage of products and niches that the  interactive layout would work with.

Examples of Niche Sites Using the TIWIB Style:

  • http://www.cool-camping-gear.com/ (Camping Gear)
  • http://whatmomslove.com/ (Parenting & Baby Care)
  • https://www.mykidneedsthat.com/ (Kids & Toys)

A "niched down" similar site

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

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

Wrapping Things Up

This Is Why I Am Broke.com is a fantastic example of a clever Amazon affiliate site away from the typical 'Amazon review site' that so many internet marketers focus on.

The site isn't reliant on unpredictable search engine traffic and no matter what Google does it will not be affected.

It draws in traffic virally from social media with almost no advertising or marketing on their part.

If the numbers are true and they really make $20,000 from Amazon per month (I suspect it's higher!) then it's a golden affiliate business model.

And it can work for anyone who uses the concept and design with their own niche or range of products.

You can take one of the many categories from the site or it's many clones such as kitchen, home and office, or pet and focus solely on those or apply it to different niches completely.

Follow their lead in terms of product selection, design, user engagement, social media interaction but also put a lot of focus into list building and blogging to increase success.

Decide which is the best website hosting company for you here to start your own TIWIB.com style site here.

The only key now is to take action...

(BTW: If you want an in-depth blueprint on how to build a site exactly like TIWIB.com then it's one of the 10+ 'Business Blueprints' available to you after you join 'NicheHacks Insider' here)

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Comments (148)

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  1. Chris says:

    Hi Stuart,

    Enjoyed the post and full breakdown. Would love to see a similar breakdown for a smaller scale AdSense style site.

    Just one small suggestion if you don't mind, I always like to subscribe to comments for posts that I comment on so that I can stay in the loop on any follow-up comments. One way you can get that functionality is by adding the JetPack plugin.

    Keep up the great work!

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hi Chris, thanks for taking the time to comment. I will add your suggestion to my 'content to do' list that is currently several pages long. I hadn't even noticed you couldn't subscribe for updates so I will look into it - thanks!

      Anything else you would have like to know about TIWIB that I didn't include?

      • Chris says:

        Sure, no problem. I know about the subscribe to comments option, as I added it to my site a few months ago after I realized I did not have that option either. If you need any pointers, just let me know, it only takes a minute or two.

        As far as any more details for TIWIB, I don't have any other specific questions. I did check out the site last night and did enjoy scrolling through all of the items. I see why the site is popular and how it could bring in that kind of revenue. It does give some good ideas.

        • NicheHacks says:

          Thanks for getting back to me Chris. I'll look into getting that feature added. There's definitely a business model there that's worth considering.

  2. Gjaggi says:

    Have you tried making such an affiliate site? 🙂 BTW, this is my second article on your website and I am loving the content's quality, already got 3-4 articles in line-up to read.. Thanks!

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Gjaggi, yes I have. A more niche site but using the TIWIB style of quirky products and witty product descriptions.

      I had a custom theme designed for it but it was full of bugs and constantly slow and crashing. On top of that I didn't give the site the attention it deserved because of lack of time.

      I've taken it offline until I have time to do it properly - I'm 100% confident it's a GREAT idea and that it will work and make lots of money when I focus on it.

      Are you going to try a site like this?

      • Gjaggi says:


        I am sure you will get success with your upcoming affiliate venture, all the best!

        Yes I am definitely going to start an affiliate site/blog. Now I have to decide a niche. I am sure I will be able to do that easily with your help. My major concern is; how will I drive traffic to it? (though I know you have mentioned a lot of information about it on your blog). I have no major experience with social media marketing, etc - just some SEO. Any suggestions how I should move forward?

        • NicheHacks says:

          The key to traffic is firstly REALLY GREAT content. If you don't have that there's no reason for anyone to come to your site, hang around or return. So you work on that first.

          Then when you have the great content you go to wherever your target audience hangs out online and figure out how to get your content or ads in front of them.

          Network like mad with others in the niche. Get known to them in a positive way (i.e. don't annoy them!). And eventually if you're doing good things they will share your stuff with their audience.

          • Yes, content is key for these kinds of sites. Cheap $2-5 articles won't cut it.

            Also the content writer needs to be skilled in the art of shortcopy in order to get people to buy both short and long ticket products.

            Some time ago I picked up Neville Medhoras Kopy Kourse from Appsumo and it was pretty nifty. In the course Nev teaches the AIDA formula for writing copy and I can see from this case study the AIDA has be widely deployed.

            Btw, great post Stuart 🙂

          • NicheHacks says:

            Hey Laura, good insight from you and thanks for the recommendation on the course. Glad you liked the post. 🙂

  3. Carl Davies says:

    This is an amazing post! - Gives me a sneak peek on what a successful website can do? What is even more amazing is hardly any traffic is from the search engines? Just goes to show you the work and effort put in from the owner... Can't believe most traffic is social media... 🙂 I'm going to focus on social media for my biz for the future.

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Carl, thanks for commenting.

      Glad you like the post. Not every website needs search engines and this is a prime example. At the same time not every website can rely on social media so don't think just because it works for TIWIB (a very social and shareable site) it will instantly work for your site too. Depends on the niche / type of site.

      Best of luck with the biz!

  4. Herschel says:

    Hi Stuart,

    Thanks for a very informative post. It was an eye opener for me.

    I was not even aware of these types of websites such as TIWIB.

    I'm planning to setup a website in the fitness niche and drive traffic to it via social media such as Facebook.

    After reading this post of yours I will have to rethink my strategy on building my website because I was hinging towards the traditional types of websites.

    Thanks again and looking forward to reading similar posts:-)

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Herschel,

      In the fitness niche a 'traditional' website may well be the way forward. The TIWIB type of website works because of the quirky nature of the products and the cool factor. This won't work for every type of website.

  5. Ruth says:

    I gain great reassurance that what you teach others as new as I am is absolutely valuable. Keep up the great work! I can tell that this post relates to the post I closely in to decide if it is about the money or about doing what you love. Great example!

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Ruth,

      Thanks for the comment. Yes TIWIB is a prime example of doing something you love (but that you know can be monetized) and putting lots of love and attention into it. Not just setting up a website, driving traffic and thinking "how can I make the most amount of money from these people". If you think about visitor experience first and how you can make your website of great use (or in this case great fun) to them the money will follow if you do things right.

      Any plans to start a site like this?

  6. Tung Tran says:

    This is such an awesome post Stuart!

    You indeed know a lot of things about the niche website industry and I always learn new things from your article.

    Very interesting website idea.

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Tung, always appreciate when a successful blogger comes over to comment and gives me some good feedback. Thanks a lot.

      I learn a lot from your blog too. Your recent article on SEO strategy was superb.

      For anyone who isn't familiar with Tung go over to http://www.cloudliving.com/competitors-research/ and prepare to have your mind blown!

      Thanks again!

  7. Kennedy says:

    Hi Stuart. I always enjoy reading your posts and learn a lot from them. Is it possible to send you a PM. I have a favour to ask from you. Please keep up with the excellent work of giving us these awesome information.

  8. jake says:

    Fantastic insight into why and how the site works. I look forward to reading similar posts. You rock, Stuart!

  9. Tom says:

    Hi, really interesting case study.
    One question: you promote the "viral affiliate theme" to build amazon stores. Do you know if this theme also supports other Amazon-countries like France, Germany, UK?
    Thanks for your kind reply.

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Tom. thanks for commenting.

      I don't know for sure but I can't see why it wouldn't. At the bottom of the sales page is a contact support link you can use to speak to the creators to confirm.

  10. Mohit says:

    Thanks NicheHacks for this fantastic insight... Looking for more dude !

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Mohit, glad you liked it. More to come in the near future. Any site in particular you'd like to ee featured? Thanks for commenting.

  11. Khalid says:

    Hi there,

    I read the below comment regarding the "Covert Store Builder" which you are promoting for:
    Can you please advise if it's right?


    "Beware guys! Amazon does not approve you for Amazon Asociates if you show them a site with this theme and with only Amazon content on it. You need to have a "blog-like" site with content and maybe a few Amazon add blocks only. I did the mistake to populate a site with this theme and a few hundred goods from Amazon, and my application was turned down at once. Luckily I have several Amazon affiliate IDs, and I could therefore replace the unapproved ID in my mysql database with one of my "old" ones. Then all worked just great. If you don't have "old" IDs, you must show Amazon a blog or other content rich site to be approved. Then you are free to change over to this theme later on. "

  12. For such an in-depth article, you sure did use a very old picture of how our website looks =P

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Adam,
      Thanks for coming over and commenting. Appreciate it.

      How did you find out about the article? I tweeted the TIWIB account about it when I first published but had no response.

      Anything you'd like to add to the case study?

      • Hahah my apologies, the twitter account is pretty much abandoned at this moment in time. I found your article while doing some research on who's linking/talking to us recently.

        The only thing I can really add is that niche versions of TIWIB actually don't usually do very well. The reason is that having a variety of products is what keeps the site entertaining, so niche specific versions of TIWIB typically struggle to gain traction since there's not a huge incentive to share it with your friends.

        • NicheHacks says:

          Thanks for coming back to reply.

          How come you've abandoned the Twitter account?

          I had my own TIWIB type site in the kitchen gadgets / unusual food niche and it was going quite well but my custom made theme let me down and couldn't find an existing one that was fit for purpose or converted anywhere nearly as well.

          Coupled with the various other projects I had going at the time I didn't have the time to oversee the development of a whole new theme and invest the time needed on the project so I put it to the side for now - I do plan to resurrect at some time and believe it will be a success based on what I experienced previously.

          Is there any advice you could give someone who wants to set up a similar style site as I know a lot of my readers do?

          Oh and how far off am I with the estimated income if you can say without revealing too much? I know you don't like to pinpoint figures but would be good to know if it's way over or way under.

          I've read various things online but $20k from Amazon was mentioned more than once so it seemed like the best guestimate.

          • Twitter just doesn't convert well, and our following is too small for anything worth putting our time into right now.

            As far as advice, quite frankly I feel like the cool products magazine niche is oversaturated and competition is very high, so my best advice is to probably just find a new idea for a website/improve upon an idea for an existing website that doesn't have a lot of competition. When I started TIWIB there wasn't that much competition, but now theres hundreds of sites just like us.

            I can't comment on the income figures unfortunately. All I can really say is that we're a high traffic website that focuses on impulsive buying of expensive products lol.

        • NicheHacks says:

          You've said in the past most people didn't buy much of what was actually featured on the site but went on to buy other things from Amazon when the cookie was set, has that changed?

          Are you finding now that more people are buying the products feature? A change in strategy to feature more purchasable products perhaps?

          • No, that's stayed the same. We're featuring really crazy products - most people aren't really in the market for these things.

          • NicheHacks says:

            I read a comment on Reddit I believe it was in your AMA that in the future you may look to keep visitors on site longer instead of sending them off to other site and monetize the site via Adwords / adverts rather than affiliate commissions.

            Did you ever explore this option yet?

  13. I did - but the test was very limited and the results were not conclusive as there were some unforeseen variables that I did not expect to be a factor. I plan to re-test that again at some point.

    • NicheHacks says:

      Thanks for the answer. Really appreciate you taking the time to reply.

      One final question for you if you don't mind....

      If you could give one single piece of advice to someone new to affiliate / internet marketing as a lot of my audience are, what would it be?

      Thanks again.

      • Truthfully, I'm not an expert on affiliate marketing. Perhaps if I was better at analytics, I could optimize my website for higher conversions and increased revenue and such. But I just approach things with the mentality of "how can I make the best possible website that people will want to share with their friends?". I don't really focus on how to make the most money - I'm still just looking for ways to improve the user experience.

        • NicheHacks says:

          Honest answer Adam - thanks. It's a good approach to things. Too many people think "how can I make money" and then ignore the most important thing - the user experience and providing value to their audience.

          Do you have any other websites or projects currently we could check out?

  14. Nishant says:

    Great post ! Very Useful..

    Thanks !

  15. Pallavi says:

    Thanks for sharing such a great information about affiliate earning. I also did it but did not get good response. But i will try your tips.

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Pallavi, thanks for commenting. You mean you tried a site like this or just tried affiliate marketing??

      Affiliate marketing is all about giving the end user VALUE whether it be through showing them quirky products with the 'wow' factor that amuse them and that they love to share with their friends or through building a relationship with them through giving them great content and making them trust you.

  16. Great Article,

    Sorry for my bad english, i'm french. Great post that give me some idea. I have a fashion blog with 100 k visites/ month, i think i will create a affiliate shop for the visitors of my blog. I think it's will be great to transform 5% of this 100 000 visitors to customers.

    my blog http://www.befashionlike.net the affiliate shop http://www.shop.befashionlike.net

    A other case to study refinery29 they start with 5000$ and now they make more than 10 million$ now

    Vive la France

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey, yeah if you're getting 100k visitors a month and not monetizing it I would add some affiliate links into your content and promote them to your email list (you have built an email list, right?) to bring in some nice revenue.

      Refinery29 are interesting. Didn't know about them but just did some reading. Could be a good future case study.

  17. Thanks for your answer , i monétise my blog With adsense and affiliate link..i make 3000€ or 4000€ By month. I think i can do better With a affiliate shop outfits.

    Yes fashion it´s a great niche i know fashion blogger who make 30k€/month.


    • NicheHacks says:

      Ah ok good to know you're making some money already. Yeah test out a shop and see what results you get. Let us know how you get on. Your site might make a good case study one day. 🙂

  18. coolkaboodle says:

    interesting post 🙂 y site http://www.coolkaboodle.com is a very similar type site and yet to make the 20k pm that tiwib does but its starting to get momentum 🙂

    • NicheHacks says:

      I hope you don't mind me giving you a bit of unsolicited feedback on your site - for me it doesn't have the 'wow' factor TIWIB does. Many of the products are unusual but not really shocking or funny.

      Another thing that TIWIB does so well is it's quirky and witty product descriptions where as you are really missing that IMO.

      Your home page also lacks in 'character' it just feels so souless with the white colour scheme.

      In all honestly it's not really offering anything different, better or more unique that TIWIB.

      I'm not trying to criticize your site. You've done a great job getting a site up and running. However I think you will struggle to see any major success unless you can come up with something that TIWIB doesn't already offer or do things better than them.

      • coolkaboodle says:

        thanks for the reply...and yes I tend to agree. this site was more an experiment really but I enjoy working on it more than clients sites 😉

        I am setting up a new site http://www.petskaboodle.com
        same deal, but specifically for pet products and yes, I will try and be more selective on having really cool/different/funny products on this one...

        not a big money maker but pays for beer 🙂

        • NicheHacks says:

          Hey, yeah those type of sites can be fun. I had one myself a while back. I think focusing on a specific niche like that is the way forward and there are tons of weird pet products out there so I think you've got a good idea.

          I saw these weird dog costumes (like halloween costumes for dogs) yesterday on Amazon. Bizarre.

          • just started to add some products to the pet version....you are right, some weird stuff out there. the latest entry in particular...!! already thinking I need to be EVEN MORE niche tho than just pets...

            thinking dogs, or cats, or horses etc or that level on some other field of interest

            still making beer money only but much more fun than client work 😉

          • NicheHacks says:

            Let us know how the pet version comes along. I think it has a lot of potential.

  19. David says:

    Hi Stuart, I'm thinking of using something like this for my niche, been looking at the covert store builder you talked about and have a few questions, I noticed that you're not using this software for your site any reason why? On a forum I read that there have been no updates for a while and have you tried the theme just wondering how responsive it is as this is why I'm broke is such a fast site (no loading time when scrolling ect).

    Best regards


    • NicheHacks says:

      Hi David, no I'm not using it for my site as it's for building amazon style affiliate stores not blogs. It wouldn't work for this site.

      If you buy and it's not for you there's a refund guarantee should you need it.

  20. Sebastian says:

    Hello, i love your website and all the good stuff you teach us:) I have a question concerning the copywrite of the pictures somebody would use on a site like thisiswhyimbroke.com. Is it enought to just link to the products? Is there any Disclaimer you would recommend for a site like this? What is your opinion on that? Thank you a lot for your help!

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Sebastian, most of the products you will be linking to are affiliate products and you're usually allowed to use the images the retailer supplies so no issue there. With other products that are not on sale you'd be wise to credit the original source.

  21. Laurent says:

    That's one of the most interesting article I've read on affiliate sites.
    I'm planning to create a site like tiwib but niched.
    Juste one question about the theme you promote 'covert'.. My heart is actually balancing between this one and the webicator.com theme wich appear to be the exactly theme used on tiwib.
    What do you thing about it? I don't know or have read about his reliability..

    Have a good day, your site is great.
    sorry for english mistake but it's not my mother language.

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Laurent, glad you like it.

      Nice find on webicator but it's not the actual theme TIWIB uses as there's is custom built + the webicator guys even say at the bottom they aren't affiliated with TIWIB.com.

      Those guys have then gone on to make a clone of it and it looks pretty similar from the outside would be interesting to see how it runs.

      I've never used it or read anything about it before but I'd be interested to see how it works, so let me know OK?

      • Laurent says:

        Fast response, thanks !
        I'm not sure I will risk money in this webicator theme not being able to find any opinions on it so I think I'll go with Covert Store but just one dumb question I you don't mind.
        I'm not sure I understood all the terms and conditions for the Covert licence, It's about 50$ once for all or every month?
        have a good day

        • NicheHacks says:

          Unless things have changed Laurent it's a one of fee though there may be other advanced options available.

  22. so, is anyone making any decent $$$ with these sort of sites?
    I know people are a little cagey about stating $$ but worth a try
    FYI, mine is sub $100

    but saying that I did see a similar site sell for $3k+ on flippa with earning of around $100

  23. Alvin says:

    Thanks Stuart for the article. I am just trying to clear some of my confusion. On TIWIB, there is hardly any content. I mean there are lot of images and ads going to Amazon and other retailers, but hardly any written content. Despite of thin content, the site is still ranking on google. What about the "content is king" statement that everybody brags about. I am assuming the site is ranking due to many of the products it is promoting are weird. Less competition and easy to rank.

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Alvin, I don't think TIWIB is ranking much in Google. They even say themselves (and it's featured in the post) they hardly get any search traffic.

  24. Howie says:

    Hey Stuart,

    Great example and breakdown of not only a unique approach to niche marketing, but an excellent example that sometimes you need to think outside the box. Although, I am certainly not going to advocate to affiliate marketers that having quality content is not important, TIWIB is a prime example that there are in fact, other approaches. It certainly gets my wheels turning and provides some great ideas. You make some excellent suggestions here too. I may still be in the earlier stages of diving back into Internet Marketing, but I am a firm believer based on my experience through the years and witnessing both positive and negative affects of various IM practices that it is always wise to spread your efforts out. I think your odds of generating traffic increase dramatically when you set your sites up to rely on multiple sources of traffic. Quite simply, not putting all of your eggs in one basket. I have really enjoyed your newsletters and blog posts and I have seen them all! I only subscribe to a very few these days. Again, thanks for sharing and all the best!

    • NicheHacks says:

      Thanks for your insightful comment Howie. Glad you're enjoying the posts and mailing list. TIWIB is a great example of outside the box thinking. They feature loads of weird and over priced products most people will never buy yet make a handsome living by doing so. Genius.

  25. Joanne says:

    Hi Stuart,

    I read this report a while back and had loads of ideas, but failed to take action on any of them! Just kept coming up with more ideas.

    But after a chance meeting with a group of Sherlock fans an idea wouldn't leave my head...so I have set up SWS - Stalkerswithstyle.com. My aim is to do a general Fan site based on these guidlines, mainy marketing through social media including Tumblr.

    This idea brings out my inner geek, and although I'm still at the very beginning (waiting for logo design still) and adding products and content, I'm hopeful for some sucess.

    I'll let you know how it goes.

    Thank you for the advice and inspiration.

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Joanne, thanks for commenting. Good to see you taking action.

      I don't 100% understand the concept of your site and even after visiting it's not clear to me (it should be apparent the minute someone lands on your site what it's about)...is it fan stuff of geeky tv shows and movies or what?

      Don't mean to be negative about your idea, fantastic to see you taking action on something quite unique it seems, but maybe the idea needs clarified a bit more...or maybe I'm just being dumb and not getting it.

      Can you explain a bit more for me please?


      • Joanne says:


        Thanks for getting back to me.

        There is a huge following at the moment for certain actors and stupid amount of money being spent on them. Fangirls worldwide are going crazy for Benedict Cumberbatch,David Tennabt,Tom Hiddleston...brit pack I suppose.

        My idea was originally lots of affiliate products in that niche (bit like TIWIB), but then decided to add content,news,videos etc to keep people on the site longer etc.

        I was thinking of a ratio 1 content - 3 product but not working that way at the moment.

        I set it up 2 days ago and today had 16 visitors, through Facebook and google.

        I will also be developing a kichen site,as I've had a small one for years that still makes a small amount of money, even though haven't touched it since 2011. Hate the name of that site (kitchenaccessoriesheaven.com) and have a new domain coolestkitchens.com

        Sorry to ramble on, thanks for taking a look

        • NicheHacks says:

          Hey Joanne, no worries.

          OK I see what your concept is now. Do you think the TIWIB style layout works for that sort of site where you have lots of content on it and not just products?

          I'm not sure it does.

          I'd probably have a seperate blog area and the products all on their own TIWIB style site.

          The images you use need a lot of work too. Many are low quality or poor. One of the thing TIWIB does well is always using high quality images you're enticed to click.

          • Joanne says:

            I think I'm putting news/articles on because I'm worried about seeming to commercial, don't know if that makes sense.

            I had thought of doing a blog for news etc but don't know if possible on the Pinfinity theme (taken me days to work out buttons), I'll look into it.

            Some of the images at the top are iffy, because that is how they came from source (Amazon) and a really bad one from facebook about a breaking news story as it was all that was available. So again if I had a seperate blog, that would be somewhere else on the site not the main page I suppose

            I'll have to watch quality, as some are great and then top three at the moment are not good.

            Thanks for your advice, things to work on

          • NicheHacks says:

            Look at TIWIB....nothing but products and people love them. Though they do feature products that aren't on sale because they are weird and wonderful.

            Yeah the blog would be on a separate page or if your theme doesn't allow it a sub-domain like blog.yoursite.com

  26. Joanne says:

    Light bulb moment!

    Thank you for that advice, hadn't thought about a sub domain!

    I've got products that aren't on sale but are cool (ish) as well, and as Etsy just turned me down some that can't earn from!

    Thank you so much for your help. I'll update and play around and let you know when done,if that's ok?

    I love your site and have been reading/absorbing for sometime. Thanks

    • NicheHacks says:

      Yeah it helps add value if you also feature products that aren't on sale or you don't net a commission for.

  27. coolkaboodle says:

    I sell some of my own products via my own site, but through sites like redbubble...less profit of course but zero hassles. sold 8 of these ( http://www.coolkaboodle.com/clothing/i-still-live-with-my-parents-baby-crawler/) when I added to coolkaboodle ...

    can do with zazzle, redbubble etc etc
    and if you put something particularly cool it may get picked up by TIWIB !!

    • NicheHacks says:

      Nice! That sort of slogan on a baby t-shirt / crawler would probably sell well as a tee-spring campaign aimed at moms.

  28. barry says:

    hI Stuart,

    Thank you for this eye opener, you always open up a new angle to look into and I really appreciate, will definitely see if there are options open I could explore keep up the insightful updates

  29. coolkaboodle says:

    what are your thoughts on the plugin WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates - WordPress Plugin ??

    really all I want from it is the ability to add to basaket within my website and then only on checkout does the user get redirected to amazon....and by adding to basket I get a 90 day cookie...

    basically want my store to look and work like a "real" store up until the checkout button is hit....any other ways to do this??


    • NicheHacks says:

      Never used it but I've seen sites like that before so must be possible...afraid I've never had a site like that though so can't recommend any particular plugins or themes.

  30. Cecilia says:

    Thanks for writing this fascinating case study. It's definitely got me thinking in different ways. I'm curious though, how do websites like this deal with the copyright of the photos?

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Cecilia, thanks for commenting. As they are an affiliate for many of the products featured they have the rights to use them. Otherwise they are giving the product free promotion to a huge audience so I doubt many of the product creators would mind and they always link to them anyway so credit is given.

  31. Sebastian says:


    thank you for such a wonderful idea. I started such a site and I have a question concerning Facebook. What would you advise one should do, to get the first likes and followers on the Facebook page?
    What would be your strategy?
    And how could you make getting likes even more more successful or faster than thisiswhyiambroke.com?

    Thanks again. I really appreciate your held and advice!!!

    • NicheHacks says:

      You'd have to go with paid ads on FB to get things started. That would give you some initial momentum.

  32. Ruth says:

    how do you get to have the first part of the SympaGrid on a website... Thats how Thisiswhyimbroke has it, and i want to know the code or at least how do you even call it... I know nothing about coding.

    • NicheHacks says:

      You mean like an image slider? There will no doubt be plugins you can use. Search for "image slider plugin".

      • Ruth says:

        So you know at the beginning of the website the title "This is why Im broke" is big at the top center, but when you scroll down it gets smaller. Is that what you call Image Slider Plugin? Thank you for your reply. I am more going for Pinfinity but i like SympaGrid. I also like the one you recommended which is $47 but it is too simple and doesnt look as nicer as the other (Sympagrid&Pinfinity)
        I seriously dont know coding but I am interested in something in between afilliate but blogging as well. Thisiswhyimbroke.com it is a really cool store but I want to have more interaction with followers besides Social Media. You know what I mean. 🙂

        • NicheHacks says:

          No that's not the image slider, the image slider is the moving images bit at the top of the page. I don't know how they do that, possibly custom coding.

  33. Arnold says:

    Thiss website definitely has alll the information and facts I needed about this subject and didn't know who to ask.

  34. Dan Hollis says:

    Can you coach a newbie about how to go from $0 to $20K a month in a 90 day period?

    • NicheHacks says:

      No Dan because it's unrealistic. If you're new in 90 days you might have made a handful of affiliate sales but you're not going to be meddling $20k a month. And TIWIB.COM isn't my site, and i have minimum experience with sites like it, so i wouldn't be a good coach for this type of site.

  35. craig says:

    my site is getting around 80-100 hits a day but still only pulling in $50-70 a month...any tips how to improve conversions and $ ... http://www.coolkaboodle.com

    also, how are sites valued for sale...a multiple of annual earnings?? 5x 10x 20x ??

    • NicheHacks says:

      100 a day is quite low so $70 a month isn't too suprising. What type of conversion rate are you getting?

      Sites are typically listed for 20x monthly earnings (average out over past 3 months) on empireflippers.com

    • winz says:

      Hi Craig, if you dont mind sharing,

      what type of wordpress template that you use for this? and one thing that i dont quite understand,
      how can we get all the contents from the third party? since i really dont want to deal with any type of copyright issue by using their contents.

      appreciate the help.

      • NicheHacks says:

        Winz, you mean images from the 3rd parties? Well most of them you will be an affiliate for so allowed to use their images. Otherwise you can just link to the source and say where you get the image from. If anyone wants you to remove an image you can do so.

        • winz says:

          Hey Stuart,

          I meant the images and the content for Article that i want to post.
          you know how TIWIB have article that owned by third party website, they just briefly explain about the article and direct them to the third party site.

          they are also using the third party images on the featured picture, will that be ok? will it be violating term of use or privacy policy?

          i asked one of the magazine website about using their content as in using it by "linking, framing" their website but they replied saying that i cannot do that.

          they only allow me to do that if i pay a certain amount of money.

          so i feel like i am stuck here. i need to get more contents so amazon will accept my associate account request. but i cannot use other website's content. but i feel like alot of people are using others contents all the time and got no problem at all.

          for instance, using youtube video's links, using other's content and link them to the site like what TIWIB did.

          do u think that TIWIB paid for all the contents that they post on their site?

          thank you so much for the help

          • NicheHacks says:

            The products that TIWIB feature are from retailers they have a relationship with. TIWIB are an affiliate for a lot of the products they feature. Affiliates are allowed to use images from the retailers. They don't take content from Amazon they write their own product descriptions.

            They didn't pay for it. They are allowed to use it as they have a partnership (affiliates) with them.

  36. psy says:

    I'd like to congratulate you...not for the case study but for being so active in the comment section...or you hired a VA? Whatever it's well done!

  37. Emmanuel says:

    hi Stuart, in fact this is what am looking for, in fact i want to do this starting from January 2015, pls i want you to give me the estimate, how much it will cost me to start it. i want to deal on motor spare parts only.

    • NicheHacks says:

      I don't think motor spare parts are going to work with a TIWIB style site. As mentioned in the post the reason TIWIB works so well is that the products they feature have the 'wow' factor that people want to share making them go viral. I don't think people are inclined to share motor spare parts on social media, do they?

      • Ruth says:

        The person up there can do so but can be flexible to engage others to buy parts relate to what he wants to sell... Weird and unique sells. I say bring it on. It is like selling things for a car, you do not only sell what people need but what they might like to be part of their car as well. Eye catching...

        • NicheHacks says:

          Yeah i'm sure there are many weird and wonderful car accessories that could work but not spare motor parts I don't think.

        • Emmanuel says:

          thanks Ruth for your concern and encouragement, but i want to know how much it will cost to set up a site on that niche pls.

          • NicheHacks says:

            What you need for this site is no different to what you need for any other - hosting, a domain, a theme. What hosting company, domain provider and theme you choose will determine the cost.

          • Ruth says:

            If you see This is why I'm broke, finds stuff that people will look at them as toys, or a kind of topic to talk about. He says his income comes from Amazon, yes but he also mentioned in another site that people do not buy everything on his page but buy other things from amazon. Think of it as this, you are a little hungry but not as much, the moment you start seeing friends, people and others buy food you will buy yours. Just as having a site, you give them quality items to check. Because they are there because they want to buy stuff, they just don't know what, at the end the buy because that was the point to it all.

  38. Ruth says:

    I work for a Renewable energy company that offers products for classrooms. So what I can tell you is if you have gmail, set up google alerts and start looking for stuff you are interested in. I have found some unusual topics about 3DPrinting and people like controversy. Something to talk about. My advice to you is search for a niche in autoparts or car accessories.

  39. Komodo says:

    Hello Stuart and a Happy New Year to you,

    I want to thank you first for the wonderful content in this article and the time you take responding to all these comments.

    My question to you and please know that I am just scratching the surface on affiliate niche marketing and blogging for traffic. What should come first the blog or the site? How do you link them together? Is it imperative to have both.....can they be combined??
    Thank you for your time and relevant information.


    • NicheHacks says:

      A blog IS a website. Not really sure what you mean. You can do affiliate marketing through your blog and email list.

  40. Emmanuel says:

    OK, i thank you all for all your time, advice and contributions. now i want somebody that can create an affiliate site very very similar to this one at http://www.saveongolf.net on a car repair tools (A niche from automobile) industry from now till 25/02/2015 with the theme of ThisIsWhyImBroke.com for a fee. please let person contact me on [email protected] .com or call +2349032112014, urgent pls.

    • NicheHacks says:

      You could probably find someone on ODesk but you'd have to buy a theme etc first. Getting a custom built theme is usually costly and be wary of anyone offering to do it for cheap as you'll get bad results and a theme that doesn't work well/

  41. Emmanuel says:

    please this kind of website can it be design with WordPress?

  42. Lindsey says:

    Thank you Stuart for shrang these reviews. I have a horrible time finding a profitable niche. Every one I pick is highly competitive, even with preety good content (if I do say so myself), I still have a hard time getting new visitors.

    I appreciate how you breakdown what works and what needs improvement. I plan on exploring your site a lot more than I have been. I have a feeling that you provide a ton of great and insightful information. I look forward to more reviews and pointers. You're providing an amazing service to those of us that are trying to "make it" online.

    Thank again,

    • NicheHacks says:

      Lindsey there are profitable niches all around us and the competitive ones are the BEST ones as it means there's lots of money to be made, tons of demand, endless products, an easy to find target audience online, all the research is done, tons of people to network with and so on.

      No competition usually means a niche isn't profitable. Check the "traffic" tab for all the traffic ideas you ever need.

  43. Johnny says:

    I have read several bad reviews about the covert store builder. Have you actually tried that one specifically yourself or not yet?

  44. Christopher Contreras says:

    how does thisiswhyimbroke.com puts up gadgets that doesn't have any affiliate program,do they get paid still? he just sends them to the website to read more about it. How could i do that?

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Christopher, if they don't have an affiliate program then no they don't get paid. But that's fine as it's about adding value. If all you did was link yo products you can get commission from then your site becomes less valuable to the end user. It just feels like a list of products.

      TIWIB are so successful because they link to anything weird and wacky whether they can make money from it or not.

  45. Timothé Enault says:


    Thank you for this awesome post :).

    Just one question : Is there any existing WordPress theme similar to thisiswhyimbroke ?

    I'm hesitating to get Sympagrid or Pinfinity, but I was wondering if there were more recent / qualitative themes ;).

    If you had to start a site similar to thisiswhyimbroke (More niched down, obviously), which Theme would you choose ?

    Thank you for your help.

    Have a great day.

    Best regards,

    • NicheHacks says:

      There is one that is based completely on the TIWIB theme but I cannot remember the name of it, sorry.

  46. craig says:

    plenty of exact copies of TIWIB out there...I made one (www.coolkaboodle.com) using one of elegant themes WP themes...working on a new site using Elegant themes Divi (and set up a showcase site http://www.divithemeexamples.com)....no reason to copy TIWIB exactly....look for a new angle. more niche is needed I think as way to many copycat sites out there..FWIW my coolkaboodle site doesn't make a huge aount now I stopped maintaining/updating it...

  47. Does anyone know what (if any) plugin TIWIB uses for the easy image-hover sharing? If not, does anyone know of one that will work with FEATURED posts images?

    See my site for example: http://www.WhoEvenBuysThis.com/

    I have found a premium one which will do so HOWEVER it will share the page the image is on (home page) rather than that product page ( http://www.whoevenbuysthis.com/PRODUCT/ )

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

    • NicheHacks says:

      I don't know about the plugin but I'm curious to know what your unique angle is compared to TIWIB? A quick glance and your site just looks like a TIWIB clone and with them being really established you'll struggle to compete.

      • Thanks for the reply!

        As of now I really have nothing making my site unique in comparance to TIWIB.

        Primarily due to financial reasons at the moment I am trying to build a following and start making some sales HOWEVER I would like to partner with brands/products in the future and perhaps run competitions for items on my site, say 1-2 per week, something along those lines.

        I'm very new to this all and I am slowly but surely learning more and more every day.

  48. Joan says:

    I actually launched a niched down version of the site for women recently, it's at http://www.singlebrokefemale.com

    • NicheHacks says:

      Nice site but will broke girls have money to spend? 😀

      I like your CTA buttons "I feel spendy" Nice touch!

      • joan says:

        Haha, the goal is to put up stuff that's so grabbyhands worthy that they will despite their bank accounts 😛

  49. Obinna says:

    One question...Im thinking about using the unusual pet product approach to this but is it necessary to do keyword research to validate it?, and if it is necessary, how many local searches is suffiecent to validate it?

    • NicheHacks says:

      For a site like this you wouldn't base everything you do around KW research because search traffic wouldn't be your main objective but it doesn't harm to do some to make sure people are looking for what you're trying to sell. There's absolutely no doubt people buy pet stuff and weird pet stuff.

  50. Hi Stuart, what about pictures license?
    do I need pictures agreement when using them like on this site
    ( link to online shop)

  51. Rahul Negi says:

    Very detailed, Excellent and very useful information... thank you. I’m gonna keep following your blog ?
    I’ve been building a new site also.

  52. Hi Stuart
    Do you know what I need to make such link to amazon sites?
    plugin or something else?

    • NicheHacks says:

      There will probably be plugins that can set up a site automatically and pull in products on autopilot, but I don't know what they are as the one I did know is no longer updated.

      And it would totally miss the point of how this site works.

      The reason this site is so successful is NOT just because it randomly links to any slightly unusual product in any order that they've found on Amazon.

      But because they spend a LOT of time on carefully choosing products, writing clever little descriptions, and thinking carefully about which order to place the products in (i.e. a cute teddy bear next to a zombie killing chain saw for example).

      It's explained in the post and I would read it a few times to get a better understanding of it before you attempt a site like this. There's 1000s of clones all across the net but none are nearly as well known as TIWIB.com because few take the time to understand what really makes them so special

  53. John Poul says:

    Can I put Amazon Affiliate links on a AdSense targeted site? I lunched a new downloading or file sharing site. Can I put there some related products affiliate links? Can you please tell me pros and cons!

    • NicheHacks says:

      You can have Amazon links and Adsense on the same site but can't see how Amazon links would be effective on an download or file sharing site and didn't think Adsense liked those types of sites either.

  54. Arzu says:

    Why Amazon ACCOUNT not approved in Pakistan ???

  55. Dan says:

    Great article. Just wondering if it would be possible for someone to be a successful affiliate through website builders such as squarespace?