Profitable Affiliate Websites

What we can learn from the affiliate websites currently for sale on EmpireFlippers?

Methodology

I took the 9 affiliate websites listed for sale on January 3, 2020, and threw out the 2 that had a primary source of revenue very different from affiliate revenue (one had an app, the other some financial accounts). They ranged in price from 90k to 1.4 million, and were founded between 2013 and 2017.

Note: I made up the names (e.g. Coupon Chris) as they’re easier to remember than auction IDs.

How do they get traffic?

Traffic Sources

The major players here are organic search and social media. Most used both. In all cases where percentages were given (4 of the 7), the primary source of traffic was responsible for at least 75% of the total traffic (so if organic search was their primary source of traffic, it was responsible for at least 75% of the total).

Pinterest Pete got 96% of their traffic from Pinterest!

How do they make money?

Primary Source of Revenue

Sources of Revenue

Everyone had affiliate revenue (because that’s how I was filtering the businesses), but it was commonly combined with ads and Amazon Associates. This makes sense, because all three are ways to monetize high traffic websites.

How many page views per dollar?

Page Views Per Dollar

There’s a lot of variance here. I would imagine the big drivers are:

1) Quality of the content.

2) Dollars per click (which isn’t shared with us, unfortunately).

What are the profit margins?

Profit Margins

Note: the x-axis starts at 75%.

I don’t think there’s much knowledge to be gained here.

Affiliate websites are monetizing their traffic. Generally, they aren’t going to make enough money per click to justify paid traffic channels. As a result, the only real expenses are the creation of content. They might be paying for content creation actively (like Coupon Chris), or writing it themselves (like Youtube Yusef), or coasting off content created years ago (like Outsourcing Oscar). As a result, expenses are all over the place.

Takeaways

  • Focus on organic search and social media for traffic.
  • Consider adding monetization through ads and Amazon Associates.
  • Expect to make (very roughly) a dollar for every 20-80 page views.

Raw Numbers

Raw Numbers

If you’d like to see all the raw numbers, or links to the auctions so you can read the descriptions yourself, you can take a look at my Google Sheet.

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