How to Make Money with Website Flipping

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s podcast. I’m here with Shawna Newman, who has recently moved back to Las Vegas from Amsterdam. Shawna and I work in similar areas, buying and selling websites using aged domains and other methods to get a running start in affiliate marketing. We will discuss Shawna’s fascinating journey in this field, including some unexpected successes and setbacks. I’m excited to dive into her experiences and insights.

One thing that caught my attention was Shawna’s story of taking Amazon to court and winning. It doesn’t happen every day that you hear about someone successfully challenging a giant like Amazon. We’ll explore how she navigated that process and what the experience was like. Additionally, we’ll look into her strategies for finding unique niches and achieving success in affiliate marketing.

Key Takeaways

  • Shawna successfully took Amazon to court and won.
  • She uses unique strategies for finding niches in affiliate marketing.
  • Insights into Shawna’s journey to success in this field.

Winning a Legal Battle Against Amazon

Account Closure Incident

In 2015, two days before Black Friday, Amazon shut down one of my accounts. This account was on track to earn around $17,000 that month. Amazon claimed I had broken the rules, which I knew I hadn’t. I decided to sue them; my wife supported me, so we did our research and took Amazon to small claims court in Nevada. The state limit was $10,000, less than I expected to lose.

Small Claims Court Strategy

Amazon took the case lightly, sending a legal assistant instead of a lawyer. We were ready to settle, but Amazon wanted to fight it out. I had gone to free legal aid clinics and thoroughly prepared. The process took about seven months. In the end, we won, and the judge ordered Amazon to cover our court costs.

Outcome and Implications

This experience was unique because there weren’t many known cases of affiliates successfully suing Amazon. I later learned that Amazon closed around 300 accounts daily at that time. My success was a combination of persistence and preparation, proving that even big companies can be held accountable in court.

Strategies for Affiliate Marketing

Using Established Domains

Starting with established or “aged” domains can give you a significant advantage in affiliate marketing. These domains often come with existing backlinks, authority, and traffic, which can speed up the process of ranking on search engines. Instead of beginning from scratch, you can leverage the domain’s existing reputation to gain traction more quickly. I often look for aged domains with relevant past content or a clean history to avoid any potential issues.

Build and Sell Model

In the build-and-sell model, I create websites to sell them once they become profitable. This method involves researching profitable niches, developing content, optimising for SEO, and generating traffic. After the site begins earning steadily through affiliate links and ads, I look for potential buyers. Selling these sites can provide a significant return on investment and allow me to focus on creating new projects without getting too attached to one site.

Paid Traffic and Lucrative Niches

Selecting niches with high commissions and using paid traffic can be very effective. I tend to focus on products or services with high prices and attractive commission rates. Using platforms like Google Ads to drive targeted traffic to my affiliate sites can result in higher earnings. Managing the ad carefully ensures the paid traffic cost doesn’t exceed the affiliate revenue. I can maximise the return on investment by continuously testing and optimising ads.

The Process of Finding Niches

Choosing the Right Niche

I look for products priced higher than £300 to find a great niche. These products should also be relatively new to the market. This combination of high price and novelty often leads to lower competition and higher profit margins.

Market Research Methods

I use multiple tools and sources for my research. Google Trends is one of my go-to tools because it helps me see what people search for over time. I also follow newsletters like Trends by Hustle. co. Additionally, I watch industry events through their pages on Facebook and Twitter to spot the latest trends and products.

Keeping Up with Market Trends

Staying up-to-date with market trends is crucial. I follow various industry events and shows, such as the Outdoor Research Association’s events in the US. These gatherings often highlight new products and innovations, providing valuable insights into upcoming trends. This helps me stay ahead and adapt quickly to changes in the market.

Achieving Success in Affiliate Marketing

Finding Specialised Opportunities

The key to success in affiliate marketing lies in finding unique opportunities. I focus on niches where products cost over £300. These should be relatively new to the market. For instance, I once dominated the paddleboard niche when it took off. I find these niches by watching industry events, using Google Trends, and subscribing to newsletters like “Trends” from Hustle.

Crossbow Niche Case Study

One of my successful ventures involved crossbows. I capitalised on this niche by running paid traffic to my site, where I sold £300 crossbows. I made significant profits with an 8.5% commission rate, and Google Ads cost me only 13p per click. This drew Amazon’s attention, leading to a conflict where they closed my account.

Striking a Balance Between Successful and Unsuccessful Niches

Not every niche I have pursued has been a hit. While some, like crossbows and paddleboards, have been very successful, others have missed the mark. For instance, I attempted to dominate the 3D video camera market, which ultimately did not take off. Although not every venture is a winner, in my experience, there are more successes than failures. This balance is crucial in affiliate marketing.

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