[Case study] Amazon website built on 267 $ auction domain earning 5-10 k $/month in dogs niche

Hello, guys! I am studying successful examples of affiliate websites built on auction domains with links. It’s interesting for me as a domain seller.
I am going to publish the results here and wanted to check if this topic would be interesting for you.

Goals of the study - 

  1. Find out blueprint on how to build a successful affiliate website utilizing link juice already gained by previous owner of the domain.

  2. Is it possible to rank the domain purely with previous link juice without building other links?

  3. Are 301-redirects effective?

  4. So far, I found 20+  good examples. For example, domain bought for 267 $ in March 2018 with 0 traffic now has 14 000 traffic per month on Amazon affiliate (about 5-10 k $/month profit) with little backlink efforts.

How we did it?


1. I collected list of 90 000 domains sold in 2018 on domain auctions or backorders from namebio.

2. Put them 450 times in ahrefs batch analysis and extracted domains having 10k+ traffic/month.

3. Checked them and choose Amazon affiliate websites.

And now I am researching these examples and wanted to ask which factors would you like to hear about.

At the moment, I analyze the following

1. Traffic and RD, then and now. Compare traffic and RD at the moment of purchase and now.

2. Established. When after the purchase the new website was established (web archive)

3. Previously. What was the previous topic of the domain (web archive)  and how is it relevant with the new topic.

4. Link profile and URL structure - what percentage of links was to homepage and overall dispercy of links among pages. how the new owner rebuilt urls with links to them. Renewed old pages with old content, redirected page by page to new relevant pages, 301-redirect of everything to homepage, did nothing - 404 errors left. I use ahrefs “best by links” pages feature to find it.

5. Backlink efforts. What additional backlink efforts the new owner performed. Guest posts, other links, redirects.

6. Content strategy. How many pages are on the website, which are getting the most traffic and why?

7. Money! Evaluate how much money were invested and how much money the website earns now.
8. Conclusion. 

Case - Amazon affiliate website making 5-10 k $/month in dog niche on 267 $ auction domain

Price - 267 $
Bought on 04.02.2018
Niche - Amazon affiliate website reviewing dog products. 


Traffic and RD, then and now

4.02.2018 - 210 RD$ 0 traffic
Now - 428 RD; 14 k traffic (ahrefs)

The links were okay, some authority ones from NY Times, bbb.org, most of links are from forums and small blogs.

Established


The domain hasn’t been used  for 10 months since the purchase until Dec 2018. So, even after 10 months without using thepamperedpup.com kept the link juice and with the new content started to rank fast.

Previously


Web archive shows a dog toys shop
It worked for 10 years (2004-2013), then the domain hadn’t been used for 5 years (sedo parking page) until 2019. So, despite so long time of not working and being out of index, the domain kept link juice and authority.

Link profile and URL structure


Significant part of links was to home page, but the internal pages weren’t redirected or renewed, there are 404 error pages there now.

Backlink efforts


In Jan 2019 right after the website was established there was a redirect from littlepamperedpets com (155 $).

The redirect was very relevant - in the same niche, shop for dog accessories. It wasn’t live for 2 years since 2016 and after the purchase in Jan 2019 was redirected right away.
However, the redirect was done poorly - 120 homepage links to homepage on thepamperedpup.com. Most of internal pages pointing to 404 pages on thepamperedpup.com

The redirect had 211 RD + 210 RD of thepamperedpup.com.

A little other visible backlink efforts were done. If there aren’t PBNs, the website ranked on top positions just on auction domain + redirect. That’s 422 $ invested in backlinks for a website getting 14 k targeted organic traffic/month

Content strategy

The website was established on Dec 2018 and in Dec 2019 it had 20 000 traffic per month just by uploading articles + little SEO.

Although the website has 109 articles published, only top-2 of them are bringing 72 % of traffic. And TOP-5 articles receive 90 % of traffic.

Wireless dog fence article has 3 guest post links 
And dog crate article- 6 guest posts and 4 PBN links
Other pages almost don’t have links.

My assumption - the owner saw an organic rise of traffic for these 2 pages and decided to power them up with some links. And it worked.The budget for the links may be around 1000 $ for these pages.
I can assume that if links were built to other internal pages, they would have ranked too.There are lots of articles on the website targeting for searched keywords, but they don’t have links to rank well.

Money

Investments

Domains - 500 $ for 2 domains
Content -  80 content pages of 3000 words - 70 $/article = 5600 $Guest posts and PBNs - roughly 2000 $.
Other expenses - 1000 $
Total - 10000 $ investment over 1.5 years. But keep in mind, that only 2 pages making most of money.

Income
It’s hard to evaluate income, but let’s try. Among 5 pages getting 90 % of traffic (13000/month) only 3 (75 %) are money pages.
From my experience, to get real traffic number we should multiply ahrefs by 1.5-3 times.Traffic - 10000*2 = 20000 (in fact should be more)

Commission. Both Invisible Dog Fences and heavy duty dog crate (72 %) cost 250 $ on average. Amazon comission is 8 %.
20 $ comission/item.

CTR - hard to say, but let it be 25 % = 5000 clicks
Conversion - 5-10 %
Earnings. 250-500 sales * 20 $ = 5000-10000 $/month
Since start, the website should already made
40-70 k $ usd.

Conclusion

Why it worked out? 

  • As the links weren’t extraordinary, I believe the key factor to success was relevancy. Previously used for dogs products shop, it was easily adapted to dog products review website.

  • Niche itself wasn’t very competitive.

  • Despite long period of being dead, the domain kept link juice.

  • The redirect was also very relevant and worked just fine.

  • Although there are 80 affiliate articles on the website, only 2 of them bring 90 % of income.

  • Domain authority is important. A couple PBN links and guest posts were able to give awesome results

  • Renewing old domain URL structure is important, but the webmaster neglected it and has most of link juice on internal pages wasted.

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