I’ve re-skinned the blog as I was receiving reports of people getting headaches! (Not Good!)

Anyway to follow on from my first post I thought I’d give you all a bit of background on the first sites that we created.

After some reading around about affiliate marketing and what works we looked for niches that we could exploit and dominate!  Lisa (my wife) is a fully qualified chef and so went off looking for an idea in the catering / cooking sector whilst I went off to pursue an idea in automotive car parts!  The key thing for this exercise was products costing less than £50 with good search volumes.  We used the Google keyword tool (GKT) to each identify a two word product combination and then began investigating domain names.

Simnel Cake TinFirst up was Lisa’s keywords “cake tins”.  At the time the GKT identified that 66,000 searches where conducted each month on the exact term “Cake Tins” in the UK.  As we where aiming our site at a UK audience we wanted a UK domain extension as these have been observed to perform better in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)  With the .co.uk already registered but undeveloped we decided to plum for the .org.uk extension.  We’d researched the competition and thought that with our .org.uk extension we could still out rank.  Our cake tins site was therefore born and we began to get things together.

This time we went for a free wordpress theme although this has now been switched to a theme we created ourselves.  Lisa began writing the content for the site whilst I got the domain and hosting hooked up.  We had an idea how we wanted the site to be structured and so we set about getting some graphics created and started with free version of Easy Content Units to get products onto our sites.  We concentrated on adding good unique and useful content to the site so Google would be a big fan of our site and see that we were a fresh site with a regular update of content.  With a good deal of work and perseverance we should be ranked at position #1 on Google.co.uk for the 2 word phrase cake tins, a great result for our first effort!  Our cake tin website really opened our eyes to the Amazon Associates programme and although it has some irritations like 24 hour cookies and reporting that is only updated once a day, we probably send the most of our traffic to Amazon from all of our sites!

Not to be out done by Lisa I came up with “windscreen wipers“.  Search volumes weren’t as high for me but the item costs could reach £75 for a pair of wipers.  Again the .co.uk was being sat on by another retailer who wasn’t using it other than to push it to their other website.  I decided I could take on the might of the main wiper companies and Halfords and got cracking.  Due to me having a day job I sub contracted my writing out and within a couple of days had my site content done.  I had come across a few windscreen wiper merchants and so once signed up- I looked at their ranges, prices and affiliate friendly tools.  The winner hands down was Autobulbs Direct who also offered the longest cookie length and a great commission percentage!  Autobulbs had a rather nifty web application that allows you to put your car details in and it returns the wipers that fit your particular make and model of car.  I contacted the affiliate network to ask whether I could get access to the php so that I could embed it directly into my site.  Unfortunately as a brand new affiliate making such requests lead to the expected no!  Remember in life if you don’t ask, you won’t get!  Although I got a no I looked at ways to incorporate the functionality into my website and with a bit of javascript coding I had the search tool working in a similar way to the Autobulbs original and I was ready take on the world!  You’ll never forget your first affiliate sale and when I saw my affiliate account credited with £2.38 I was over the moon!  I’ve been working with Autobulbs Direct for over a year now and recently negotiated a unique discount code for visitors that I refer.

I held the #1 spot again in Google after a good deal of hard work but in recent months I have slipped down to position 2.  I shall be making a push on the run up to Christmas to leap back to pole position and reclaim what I feel is rightfully mine!  Winter is a particularly busy time for this website as the bad weather causes a lot more requirement for new windscreen wiper blades!