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*Please excuse the audio and video quality of this Podcast. Due to a recording issue, it is presented at a decreased resolution this week. We’ll be back to our usual quality next week though!
97.7% of affiliates hate link building.
The other 2.3% are sociopaths who enjoy talking to complete strangers.
But the truth is that getting backlinks is the least fun part of affiliate marketing for most of you.
The fun stuff is niche research, finding keywords, choosing products, designing a site, etc.
So, the question we’re going to tackle today is…
Can you build profitable affiliate sites without building backlinks?
The short answer is “Yes”.
But, as with most things in life, it’s not as straightforward as it sounds.
In my recent interview with Jon Dykstra, he revealed that he never intentionally builds backlinks to any of his sites.
And the guy earns at least US$70,000 per month, from 17 sites in total.
He’s also a one-man operation, outsourcing the majority of his content creation.
But – and this is the real kicker – he has to wait at least two years for his sites to naturally gather enough backlinks to rank.
So he earns VERY little for the first 24 months from each new site.
And that’s the cost of his no link building strategy: Time.
This completely goes against the instant gratification mindset that’s so common today.
And that’s where you need to ask yourself: Are you willing to wait this long in exchange for not having to deal with link building?
Let’s say that you either can’t afford to or don’t want to build backlinks.
How would you actually go about building a no-links site?
Here’s what I learned from talking to Jon Dykstra for over 1 hour on his process
Sure, Jon does not build links but my gosh does he produce lots of content.
His biggest sites get multiple new posts per day.
To give you an idea of how much he invests, his latest income report states he spent $7,641 in August on content across his site portfolio.
If you don’t build links your chance to rank for competitive keywords is small.
So he just doesn’t even try.
Instead, he goes for low difficulty keywords on Ahrefs (KD 0-5)
He also confirmed something we’ve been saying for ages:
Even keywords with “10” searches per month on Ahrefs can generate thousands of visits.
And because your hit rate is high, it’s often better to target these than more popular keywords.
You can easily filter for these inside Ahrefs and quickly pick the most relevant keywords.
I know you probably read that you need to diversify your traffic on some Facebook group.
Usually, that’s the kind of advice given by keyboard jockeys that didn’t achieve much.
The truth is, most people who succeed focus.
You get outsized returns for being great at one thing vs average at many.
That’s why for early stages sites, both Jon and us don’t recommend you bother with social media.
Pinterest being a bit of an exception because it works like a search engine and sends lots of traffic to your site.
If you have been following this guide so far, you’re like, wait…
Why is the keyword section so light?
That’s because Jon monetizes with ads almost exclusively.
That’s right, he makes some money from affiliate marketing but the bulk of his money is display ads.
That’s why he doesn’t really need to bother with intent or most other things affiliate marketers worry about.
The model is simple:
That’s really the gist of it.
Jon is not a guy who likes to complicate things.
And you can’t really blame him for it when it works so well for him.
The rest, is just time, patience, and faith in your project.
So Jon’s story is great and all but you know me.
I’m not easily convinced and I just tell you what I really think of pretty much anything we report on.
So do I think this is a viable model and you should do this?
I think it can work… with a lot of patience.
I mean, Jon proves it with his success.
But then again, if it takes 3 years for a site to take off, where will Google be in 3 years?
What are the chances my site is still relevant then and not affected by some crazy updates?
It’s a risk for sure.
I think if you want to go for this model, I’d at least learn how to pick up dropped domains so you start with a base of authority.
Or even buy existing sites that have some authority than just ignore link building.
In my opinion, the results will be much faster for not much more money if you consider the price of content.
Still, Jon’s story is impressive and it’s well worth watching the full interview if you want to learn more about his interesting model.
You know where to go for the full episode!
By the way. Do you want us to do more interviews? Who would you like to see on the show? Drop a comment on our YouTube channel or send us an email!