Ask 6 Experts – What Type Of Links Would You Build to A New Affiliate Site?

Filed in Blog by on June 25, 2014 1 Comment


One question I get asked a lot is ‘what type of backlinks do I build to my new site’? More times than not the sites in question are in fact affiliate sites.

So what exactly does it take to rank new affiliate sites? A couple of months back I published an article on ranking new sites without exact keyword anchors. This is a great place to start and once you have started to build natural looking links, you can then move on to some high authority contextual links. I also published this post on How to Build Quality Back Links.




The most important factor in my eyes is relevancy. You must make sure that 100% of your tier 1 links are from sites that are in your niche or closely related. The articles from which you link from should include the keywords which closely match your site/product/niche

If you do this then you will greatly reduce the risk of any penalties.


What Do The Experts Say?

Everybody has there own way of doing things. So I thought it would be a good idea to ask a few experts in the field what they would do with a new Affiliate site.


photo-on-21-08-2013-at-12-40-jpgphoto-on-21-08-2013-at-12-40-jpgPhoto on 21-08-2013 at 12.40Jason Chesters at Do SEO yourself  (That’s me)

Ok, so I thought I would start by giving my own theory on this. I am currently experimenting with a new affiliate site and seeing good results fairly quickly. The type of links that seem to have the most positive affect are contextual links, coming from guest posts and PBN sites. By building 20 -30 links from established blogs has seen my affiliate site jump from 158 to 26 in just 10 days!!

Diversity – This is important as you don’t want your back link profile to look unnatural. Therefore I always recommend using a variety of anchor texts. Use generic terms, brand terms and a variation of your main keywords. You can see more about diversity in this post –



Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 10.39.51Jason Acidre –

There are actually a lot of approaches that I can think of right now, and thanks to all the years of working with Affilorama (an affiliate marketing training portal).

I’ve tested many methods (particularly in building links and gaining traffic to an affiliate website) in the past – and I’ve even written a few case studies about it (like this one on driving more organic traffic to affiliate sites).

But here are the ones that I’ll surely implement if in case I have to launch a new niche site (whether an affiliate or an Adsense site):

Infiltrate the target industry’s content ecosystem faster.

The best way to do this is to identify the top 50 domains (especially publications/blogs/communities that have high traffic) in that space, and be able to at least penetrate 3-5 of them and become a part of their community.

Become a regular contributor (submit content to them on a regular basis, it’s easier than aiming to submit guest blogs to hundreds of domains). It’ll also be faster for your site to grow its visibility as a brand, when you’re consistently exposed on high traffic industry-specific platforms (definitely a signal that search engines would put more weight into in terms of overall ranking ability).

These can create signals that will be really hard to ignore, knowing that they can consistently provide proof that your site/brand is an authority.

Create one solid evergreen content asset, then semi-automate outreach and promotion.

There are so many ways to do this:

Aim to build on the site’s Domain Authority from the start.

This means getting the right links from the start, and putting more pages within the website that’ll be more valuable in the future (strong internal links).

You can also check out this list of the links that I believe really matter as well as on how you can get them.

In this era of online marketing, you’ll just really need the right signals that can help your site continuously prove that it’s an authority.




tvV4EFk-_400x400Adam Connell –

I think the first thing to consider when deciding which tactics to use would be – are you looking to create an affiliate site that has longevity or are you looking for a quick money maker that might not have staying power?

Personally I’d look to create an affiliate site that has maximum viability for the long term.

Initially, I’d forget about links.

I’d start off by finding out who the key influencers within the niche are – these are the people that will be our route to the top. They have influence and we can leverage it.

Then I’d start to develop a relationship in some way with these influences (sharing their content and helping them out etc).

Then I’d look at creating resource type content that’s so epic that everyone would naturally want to link to it. Adding influencers’ content to these type of posts can work incredibly well. Especially with a focused social media campaign that mentions these influencers – email follow ups to let them know can work incredibly well.

The next step would be to actually get some DECENT links to these resource style posts.

Start off by looking for industry roundups and resource posts that would benefit from mentioning your content and reach out to the author to ask them to include your post. (you’d probably want to open up the email with something cool like letting them know that you just shared some of their content because nobody likes emails that are “me me me”).


Monitor your progress as you go and tweak your pitches accordingly.

Then look at contributing a guest post to some of the top tier sites in your niche to promote your content. Less is more here. Forget crap sites that just exist for link building. You need real sites that add value.

Focus on writing the best content you possibly can, even though it’s not for your own site. You’ll be glad that you did. Just by doing that other opportunities will present themselves to you.


Ultimately, I’m a big believer that if you really want your site to stick around, you need to focus on the visibility and traffic side of things.

And by doing things this way, the site will still be earning money in years to come.

With Google’s frequent updates, one thing is clear – if you don’t have one eye on the past and one eye on the future, you’ll get caught with your pants down.

Then the next step is conversions – that’s where all of this traffic we’re hoping to get to our site turns into cash.


Bio: Adam Connell is the Marketing Manager at UK Linkology, a content marketing agency based in the heart of the UK.



mwoodwardMatthew Woodward –

I would start by doing what I always do when trying to rank a new site – replicating my competitors backlink profiles.  Although it takes a bit of time, it is a very effective way of getting traction in the rankings from sites you know deliver authority & rankings.  I have written more detailed tutorial about the entire process.





viperchillGlen –

Quite simply, private network links. Without question. We’re doing this for hundreds of sites at the moment – many niche affiliate sites – and they work like a dream. for more info on this 🙂





gianlucaGianluca Fiorelli –

“If you had just launched a brand new affiliate niche site, what type of links would you start to build first to help it to rank?”
A lot depends in what niche the affiliate site is, as it doesn’t exist a fixed rule.
For instance, in the travel niche – and I think this going to sound somehow heretic said by an SEO – I wouldn’t proactively build links in the very beginning, because even if I have amazing content on my site and I was able to offer an astonishing user experience, I’m just an unknown travel site as gazillions others, so outreach wouldn’t be backed by that authority that really is needed for obtaining links from great authoritative sites.
My priorities should be trying to build an audience for my site, therefore I would concentrate my attention:
1) First in those channels that my audience is especially using. That means Facebook mostly, but also Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, or even Google+ if I find a proper tone of voice able to engage the quite peculiar audience using it. 
During this branding phase I wouldn’t mind investing some budget for using Ads for pushing content. Doing so, and doing it well, I could be able to start building a first basic community of users, who will help me expanding my brand and the content I create.
Why do I insist on branding? Because affiliate sites that are not able to evolve into recognizable brands are doomed by Google. 
2) At the same time I’d study who is the audience persona (aka: people interested in my topics but not necessarily in becoming buyers), and who are those between them able to influence my buyer persona.
3) Following the principle of what Richard Baxter wonderfully defined as “really targeted outreach“, I would analyze what kind of content those influencers share and from what sites.
4) Those sites will be my target for my proactive link building efforts, and the resonance I have probably have started to have in social would be surely helping me in outreaching them, apart, obviously, the content specifically designed for being linked from or published into those sites
5) That content, though, should have been created also as if it was crafted just for influencer(s) we want sharing it. He will see it published on a site he trusts (or linked by a site he trusts), therefore he won’t have less resilience in sharing it than if we directly asked him to do it.
Consequences of this kind of audience and personas approach to link building? 

1) We can see our site linked from authoritative and trusted sites;

2) We can see our site and brad earning trust and thoughtful leadership;

3) Ultimately we will be able to just click publish and earn links.


What about sites not in the travel or fashion or retail niche? I think that the approach could be almost the same I described, even if in a less glamorous environment. But options for following that tactic exist: for instance, have you ever stopped looking and counting how many industry specific magazines are published every month in kiosks?


Ok, better if I end my answer here 😀


For bio and curiosities about me, you can check my Moz Associate profile:

davidmcDavid Mcsweeney –

The exact strategy I would use would depend on the niche and the affiliate model (i.e. reviews, content, price comparison etc), but the types of link I would be going for would be a mixture of: –
Authority building links
Linkworthy content
Competitor links
For the authority building links (brand mentions, links to home page), I previously advocated guest blogging as one of the best ways to build these, but unfortunately the practice has been somewhat ruined by spammers in the last couple of years.
While I would still recommend some high quality guest posting on authority sites in your niche (simple litmus test: if it drives referral traffic then it’s probably a good link to have), the tactic I’m moving towards now is interview, expert comment type links (I guess this is an example of that!).
Admittedly it doesn’t work for all niches, but generally you’ll be able to identify a few opportunities. Find sites in your niche (you may have to think slightly outside of it) that run this kind of post and reach out to them, letting them know your areas of expertise and that you would be delighted to contribute to future articles.
You can also use services like HARO to look for interview opportunities.
Another good way to pick up home page links is the good old fashioned links/resources page and the simplest way to outreach for these is to look for broken links (it works a treat).
With regards to the linkworthy content, I know it’s a cliché, but this really is the key to success in internet/affiliate marketing.
A good starting point is to analyse your competitors to find out what their most popular content has been in the past (be it shares/links etc) and put some thought into how you can create similar content for your own site. If it has worked once it will generally work again, but the trick is not to copy, but to make your content better than the original.
Some tips:-Bring old content up to date (some niches move very fast)
Make an absolute authority document on a topic
Create a video to go along with the content
Create a great infographic
Once you have the content, you have a ready made list for outreach (your competitor’s links) and assuming your content is good and your outreach warm and personalised (proving you are not a robot is half the battle) you will pick up strong, contextual links.

And while we’re on the topic of competitors, it’s always a good starting point in SEO to go through your competitor’s backlink profiles to look for opportunities.

Some tips: –

Look for hubs (sites which are linking to 2-3 of your competitors)
Look outside the top 10

Some general points on link building: –

Quality > quantity
Branded links > anchor text links
Don’t use automation unless you are building for the short term
Try and build links that will drive traffic. They’ll be safe and… they’ll em… drive traffic while you are waiting for your site to pick up traction in google.


And the most important point…Ensure you have a quality site, that is actually offering value beyond just getting people onto your site and getting them straight off again through your affiliate link. That’s the key to long term success in affiliate marketing!


So there you have it. Some top tips from the top pro’s. Next time you launch a new affiliate site, come back to this page! And don’t forget to share this page on your social media accounts 🙂

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Comments (1)

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  1. Nauf Sid says:

    Great roundup Jason! Especially some of the tips from you and Kaiser were pretty out of the box and new. I would love to participate in roundups you are going to conduct in the future.

    Kind Regards,
    Nauf Sid


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