Breaking Down A Multi-Million Dollar Affiliate Marketing Website
Below is an affiliate marketing website in the camping and outdoors niche that's worth millions.
SwitchBackTravel.com is a website that does outdoor and camping reviews - they make money with affiliate links. This website makes in the $50,000 to $100,000+ per month range and is worth multi-millions (most likely in $5 million to $10 million range). This website primarily uses free traffic from Google.
Domain age: 8 years, 8 months
Traffic per month: 2,000,000 to 700,000
Affiliate program: REI, Evo, Backcountry
Traffic: Free traffic from google
It Takes Years To Build This Kind Of Website
There are some instances where people get rich fast online but in most cases that's not the case.
Online riches tend to go to the people who stick around and build for the long term.
The fastest I have ever gotten a website to over $2000 per month was 6 months, which is good.
SwitchBackTravel is 8 years old but it probably took 2 to 4 years to reach the level of success they're at now.
Once you hit a certain point it's more about maintaining than growing - SwitchBackTravel is in the maintaining part of an affiliate business.
So I don't think you'll go out there and replicate this website in 6 months.
However, you can good results pretty quickly. I replicated one of my websites after this one and got it to $4,500 a month in month 7:
I went on to sell that same website for $40,000:
This was early in my affiliate marketing career too.
If I knew then what I know now I would have kept working on the site and sold for more down the road.
But getting $40,000 all at once was pretty cool in that time of my life.
Let's break down exactly what Switchback did to get these massive results and how you can copy them.
This Site Relies Mostly On "Best Of" Posts
In a previous email I talked about 3 ways you can get free buyer ready traffic.
One of the ways I mentioned is "best of" posts.
These are posts where you compile the top products for a certain topic.
For example in the hiking section at SwitchBackTravel they have the following "best of" posts:
- Best hiking shoes of 2020
- Best hiking boots of 2020
- Best trailing running shoes of 2020
- Best daypacks for hiking of 2020
- Best rain jackets of 2020
- Best windbreak jackets of 2020
- Best down jackets of 2020
- Best synthetic insulated jackets of 2020
- Best hiking pants of 2020
- Best trekking poles of 2020
- Best hiking socks of 2020
- Best baby carriers for hiking 2020
They get traffic to these posts from Google. Type into Google "best hiking shoes of 2020" and you'll see SwitchBackTravel show up on page:
Google puts this article in the Featured Snippets area because it's so quality (it's the first post people see when the search "best hiking shoes of 2020."
This post gets thousands and thousands of views every single month. They have HUNDREDS of these posts that can bring over 1 million views a month.
They Recommend High Quality Products
There's a misconception that people don't like spending a lot of money online.
This couldn't be further from the truth.
I once wrote a post recommending remote control push golf carts and these products cost $3000.
I sold one every couple of weeks.
SwitchBackTravel only recommends products that are extremely high quality and are very expensive in a lot cases.
Look at some of the prices on the ski jackets they recommend in their post about best ski jackets:
I ranked for the term "best ski jackets" in the past and know for a 100% fact people are willing to spend $1000+ online for a ski jacket.
That means you're making anywhere from $50 to $100+ per sale.
This post has been ranking for years in Google too (probably 5+ years).
So every winter this post brings in thousands of visitors a month looking to buy a ski jacket.
After you create the post there's no real work you have to do to make sales.
It's all passive and it's all on autopilot.
They Also Do Product Reviews
Best of posts aren't the only way SwitchBackTravel makes money.
They also do individual reviews.
Reviews are on awesome way to make money and target traffic deep into the online buying process.
They've already done their research and their credit card is already out.
They're just looking for a trusted opinion on whether they should pull the trigger or not.
One thing I'll say about individual product reviews is it's better to own the product (readers will trust you more if this is the case).
Owning the products isn't necessary in best of posts, though. When you're listing 15 products it's alright to use stock photos.
But with individual product reviews you'll want personal pictures to show you actually have hands on experience with what you're reviewing.
So maybe hold off on doing reviews of expensive products until you already have a semi-successful website.
Stick with best of posts in the beginning (and posts that compare two products against each other).
When you're bigger companies will send you products to review for free.
Which Affiliate Programs They Use
Because SwitchBackTravel is a high end product review website, they only link to high end retailers.
The main affiliate programs they use is REI, Evo and Backcountry.
All three of these companies sell high end outdoor products and have very lucrative affiliate programs.
Let's look at each..
REI's affiliate program gives you 5% commissions on every sale you make when someone clicks on your link.
Just so we're clear if you're linking to a ski jacket and someone buys the ski jacket and any other product you get 5% on the entire order.
The customer doesn't even have to buy the product you linked to for you to get a commission.
Plus there's a 15 day cookie to make a sale. This means if someone clicks the link you provide, doesn't buy right away but in two weeks decides to buy (even without clicking through your link again) you get credit for the sale.
How cool is that?
Evo's affiliate program is remarkable and is better than REI.
Evo offers 8% to 12% commissions and they give you a 120 day cookie!
This means someone can click your link and as long as they buy anything from EVO in 120 days after, you get a commission.
This is why I love affiliate marketing. It's the future of sales and you can't convince me otherwise.
Backcountry has a very good affiliate program as well.
They offer 4% to 12% commissions and a 30 day cookie.
The more you sell the higher the commissions you get.
Savage Affiliates Will Help You Build A Website Like This
You can only build a website like this with good training.
There's only so much you can learn from my emails and posts. You need a step by step program that will walk you through ALL steps of affiliate marketing.
My emails and tips are meant to supplement a good training course.
Wealthy Affiliate is my favorite affiliate marketing course.
I've reviewed hundreds if affiliate marketing courses. The good ones cost too much and the rest are low quality or straight up scams.
Wealthy Affiliate is the absolutely the best value. It's extremely high quality and it's completely free to try!
So if you're ready to start making money online and haven't bought Wealthy Affiliate yet, click below: