$0 to +$3,300/m In 4 Months Without Building Links

Hey there, Sumit here again ^ ^

Recently I shared one of my client’s expired domain success, Affiliate Site Making $7,000/mo In 11 Months!

If you haven’t read it yet, go on and have a look at his impressive strategy.

Anyway, as promised, I’m back with another Rebirth Technique case study.

But this time, you will meet the man behind it 😉

I think it will be a surprise for most people when they knew that I didn’t build a single link, and it already crossed $3,000/mo in just four months for an $830 auction domain.

Just take note this one won’t disclose the domain name involved as requested.

Let’s begin!

The Background Story

First, I’d like you to meet Mahmoud Fathy 😊

He is a good friend of mine and a digital marketing enthusiast who’s been working in the field for over seven years now.

What he focuses on is SEO, especially building and scaling content sites.

Right now, Mahmoud is concerned with working on new services that will help affiliate marketers expand their websites and reach more people.

The fact that he’s big on forming personal connections with the audience gives him the edge with his work.

And the fact that he loves traveling, exploring, and seeing new places and people helps him develop that personal skill. This consequently helps him understand how to reach the right people in the right way.

To give you an idea…

Our friendship started when I promoted my FREE expired domain consultation this April of 2019.

He booked a call with me, and we had a 30-minute call enough to discuss a few of his clarifications about this expired domain in the tech niche he got from the GoDaddy auctions.

And he’s happy with it!

Honestly, just this shoutout is more than enough as payment 🤗

But what made me even happier is that he trusted my words and work on it right away!

Just a few months after the conversation, I was surprised and super happy for him to see the results he posted like this in The Proper SEO Group$0 to +$3,300/m In 4 Months Without Building Links.

Read on to see how he did it exactly 😎

Note that this case study is not a churn and burn strategy instead, an affiliate site making passive income and growing continuously.

The Expired Domain Strategy

Was this your first time using an expired domain? What’s your experience so far with it?

Nope, this is my third time and the best so far. Yes, not all three domains achieved the same results, but they all performed so well. A great experience, indeed.

What goal and budget did you have in mind for the site?

My main goal was to publish a huge number of articles to cover almost all keywords, queries, questions that people search for in this niche (the same niche as the domain was about), and then see what could happen. The budget I decided to invest was $5,000 to $6,000 for the first 6 months.

What are your criteria for buying expired domains? Metrics, process, etc.

The first thing I look for is RDs. Referring domains is the most important factor when it comes to purchasing expired domains. I usually look for at least 150+ RDs with several authority domains. Then the trust flow should be 10+.

Then I get deep with the domain using Ahrefs, I look for Anchor texts, to make sure it doesn’t have any spammy anchors. Then I look for the backlinks and where they were pointed. I usually prefer that most backlinks go to the main homepage with branded anchor texts.

Then I check with Web archive to check the history of the domain to make sure it hasn’t been used as a PBN or something like that before.

How did you go about reviving this expired domain? How did you maximize all of the “link juice” of the expired domain?

I focused 100% on relevancy. We published articles on the exact topic that the domain was about. And for maximizing the link juice, I 301 redirected all the pages existed on the domain to the homepage. Also, rebuilding is a good solution, but I preferred to point all of them to the homepage.

When did you start working on it?

April 2019

How many months did it take you to see keywords and traffic to start coming in?

Two to three months ‘till July 2019.

How did you plan the site structure?

I didn’t do SILOs or anything like that. Just normal categories like “Buyer’s Guides, Reviews, How To’s.”

What is the price range of your products?

$50 to $400 (average).

Is your site more of a niche site (home page ranking for money keyword) or an authority site in the niche covering different categories?

Authority site in a certain niche (DON’T try to rank with your homepage on (BEST X) type of keywords if the top 10 results are ALL normal posts)

On-Page SEO Strategy

What’s your on-page strategy?

Well, in any affiliate site, we usually have money articles and supporting articles.

I tried to do something like 50% money articles & 50% supporting articles to build as many internal links as possible to my money articles.

And for my on-page structure I do the following for my round-up articles:

H1 – Title

Introduction

H2 – Main Keyword

H3 – Product 1

H3 – Product 2

H2 – What to look for when buying this product?

H2 – Bottom Line

What is the key to finding good niches? Is your niche a big market?

My niche is a big market for sure, I would say that I usually look for products that are easy to sell and can be found with almost anyone you know. I prefer to look on Amazon and see the number of reviews on that type of product.

What was your keyword strategy?

I use two main strategies for getting ideas for my keywords.

The first is basically spying on my competitors by using Ahrefs. Second is using the keyword explorer feature in Ahrefs as well. Both lead to the same results most of the time.

I don’t avoid any money keyword, whenever I see a good money keyword with a good amount of searches (+500 monthly searches on Ahrefs), I publish an article about it. I used to avoid “difficult keywords” back in the days, but right now, you never know. Maybe Google would prefer your result over other big sites. It happened to me several times.

The only thing I avoid is (super long-tail keywords) these keywords are usually variations from other big keywords, I prefer to publish a decent big article and try to target these very long-tail keywords inside the article rather than writing several articles trying to target each and every long-tail keyword which usually cause “keyword cannibalization” and I’m not a fan of the KGR thing by the way.

And definitely, my main money keywords is Best X, Best X for Y, Best X under $$$$.

Can you explain how do you go with your KW research? What’s your requirement in picking certain KWs?

Here was my amazing content team comes. I’ve a team consisting of copywriters, content editors, two VAs, & a technical manager. They basically start with keyword research. We start by focusing on low competition keywords at the beginning, then later on, we focus on the harder keywords. And as I mentioned above, I usually try to stick to 50% money articles and 50% informational articles.

My main content strategy is focusing on both “quality” & “quantity,” and quality doesn’t mean “perfect” English only, it’s more about how useful & precise is your piece of content to the user. Your article should be providing the right answer for the users’ queries. I see many people using “fluff content” to increase the word count. This is a huge mistake.

Google is getting better and better in understanding the content these days.

What was the Search Volume of your most trafficked keyword?

+6500 searches / m on Ahrefs.

How did you decide on the length of the article?

I don’t really mention a certain number of words to my writers, but for informational articles, I never go below 700 words. And for the money articles, usually, it becomes something between 2,000 to 5,000 words by default.

I like to use SurferSEO tool as well to have a quick look at the average number of words to the top 10 results and make sure that my article is within that average.

The length of the content doesn’t really matter as long as you’re not too far from the top results.

Do you ever spend time updating the content? Are you worried about your pages not being as good as they could be?

Yes, all the time. I really focus on content more than anything else. I always ask my content editors every now and then to revise the money articles and check all the technical information & update the products if any product is currently unavailable on Amazon or a new version of it got released.

Also, sometimes, I hire professional copywriters to provide me full feedback on my writers on content and see what we can improve and to get fresh eyes to review my content team performance overall.

How many articles did you publish so far? And at what frequency?

Almost 160 articles. From April 2019 to July 2019, we published more than 100 articles, then 60 articles from August to November.

When did you start adding new content to the site, instantly or waited a period after acquiring domain?

Instantly after acquiring the domain.

Any internal linking tips for the content?

Take care of anchor texts you’re using while creating your internal links. Yes, you can easily fall in the trap of over-optimizing your anchor texts in your internal links. I would recommend reading Matt Diggity’s guide on internal links anchor texts.

Also, I want to stress how important are internal links, they really get things going if you created them properly. Try to hire a VA to create a spreadsheet where you can track your internal links (quantity, anchors).

What type of content gives you the most conversion? Single product reviews or roundup articles?

Roundup 100%, especially for physical products (Amazon for example). They perform way better than single reviews.

For product roundup posts, how many internal links do you usually have? Did you publish a review of each product then add internal links for that in the roundup post?

I usually publish individual reviews, yes, but I don’t pass internal links for all of them from my roundup articles. I don’t want the readers to get distracted with many links. But I do the reverse, I pass internal links from all of my individual reviews to my roundup articles.

What’s your anchor text strategy for links? What kind of anchors did you use for links and the ratio between brandable, keyword-rich, and naked URLs? Idea.

I don’t use exact match anchors at all. I classify anchors into two categories. One is (keyword anchors). This is any anchor that’s related to the keyword and (non-keyword anchors). I usually try to keep my keyword anchors below 10%.

Pro tip: Instead of using exact match anchors, try to use the title of the article, it’s safer & contains the money keyword.

Are you using Schema on your site?

Nope, but I want to give it a try soon.

Off-Page SEO

How did you plan your link building strategy? When did you start with link building, and with what frequency?

In October 2019, we started an outreach campaign and were able to get a good amount of guest posts & editorial links.

I’m looking for a 30+ contextual link per month right now. I plan to focus on outreaching.

What kind of links are you specifically targeting, and in what percentage?

Guest posts + editorial links (niche edit placements). No certain percentage, I just buy whenever I found a good opportunity.

Note: Here’s a case study on how my client got high-authority guest post links (Up to 70+ DR) for free.

What are your metrics when it comes to targeting sites for link building?

The only metrics I look for is Ahrefs traffic. I look for sites with good amount of traffic. Preferably +1,000 visits/mo on Ahrefs.

Monetization Strategy

What’s your monetization strategy? How do you decide if you’d go for Amazon affiliate or other affiliate programs?

Only Amazon affiliate ‘till now. Soon I will be adding Ads to my informational articles.

The Results

Mahmoud already shared everything about ranking an expired domain to get this figure in 6 months:

Now let’s see the numbers involved in this case study 😉

What’s the actual financial break down of all the costs involved to execute this project?

The domain from Auctions: $830

My content team expenses: $6,000 for 200,000 words (including writing, proofreading, editing & publishing on WordPress)

Siteground Hosting: $30/m

Pretty much, that’s it.

I didn’t include the cost of the links because I find it irrelevant yet as it didn’t contribute that much from the site’s success.

What’s your ROI from the website so far?

So far, the site made $12,400 from Amazon US, UK & Canada Affiliate programs from July 2019 to November 2019 from an $800 domain.

The ROI is at 75.39%.

Can you share screenshots of traffic and revenue?

This is Amazon US revenue screenshots only, there is UK & Canada revenue as well, which is 15% to 20% of US earnings.

I use clicky instead of GA.

July 2019 Data

Traffic:

Revenue:

August 2019 Data

Traffic:

Revenue:

September 2019 Data

Traffic:

Revenue:

October 2019 Data

Traffic:

Revenue:

November 2019 Data

Traffic:

Revenue:

Wrap Up

What’s your next plan to grow this website?

More content & proper links campaigns. I want to focus on building quality links next period to maintain and scale the site along with publishing quality content all the time.

What do you think is the risk of using expired domain based on your experience?

Using expired domains to build a money site can make a huge difference. It’s an awesome technique to skip the long period of sandbox and get a strong push in the beginning. But yes, there is a risk that the domain doesn’t work well (as expected) it can happen.

But to minimize that risk, I would recommend spending enough time searching in the history of the domain to make sure it’s 100% clean and not spammed & then keep it in the SAME niche. I saw many failed expired domains experiences due to changing the niche.

You can’t create a Mattresses affiliate site on an expired domain that was about environmental changes. As obvious as it seems, I still see many marketers trying to do the same.

Also, buying directly from trusted vendors like Serpnames would definitely get you a decent domain with a clean history in many categories. It saves you a lot of hassle.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on developing two quality services that will help affiliate marketers (with a limited budget) grow their sites. First is content creation, we’re working on a fully managed content service dedicated to affiliate sites. Second is an outreaching service also dedicated to affiliate sites. Our main goal is to make these two services the BEST at their price points.

Since both services are currently in the developing phase, those who might be interested can just leave me an email on my personal website: https://meetmahmoud.com or my FB profile page.

I asked Mahmoud a few more questions about his recommended online tools in ranking his website successfully, the mistakes he made along the journey, and how does he find good writers.

Would you like to know his answers? Get it here…

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Sumit BansalHayat AhmadSumit Kumar BansalJeremyMarc Hastenteufel Recent comment authors
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Muhammad Atif
Guest

Amazing Stuff after Long time. Thank you so much for amazing Case Study Sumit and Mahmoud. One question, you mentioned spammed domain, does it includes a domain with many redirects to similar niche domain Like Apple .com redirects to Macbook .com does Apple.com would still have power to grow money site on it when we build Amazon Affiliate site around macbook/apple ? Second question, some domains are way too old since like 1999 or so, putting site on them, sites with no redirects or chinese etc fluff at all and they dont get any traffic weeks and weeks even after… Read more »

Sumit Kumar Bansal
Guest
Sumit Kumar Bansal

HI Atif! Thanks for your feedback and positive comment.

1. Yes, they still retain link juice. When you live the domain with content then all backlinks will get recrawled and you’ll get 100% link juice.
2. If those domains don’t have backlinks there’s no fix of that ^^

Steve F
Guest

Great article and really helpful.

Can you give more information about the metrics of the expired domain and maybe speak to why it was worth the price paid?

Thanks

Steve

Sumit Kumar Bansal
Guest
Sumit Kumar Bansal

Hi Steve, thanks for your comment and glad you enjoyed it.

The metrics are mainly quantity and quality of referring domains.

Hasan
Guest
Hasan

Hi Sumit, Great case study and thanks for sharing it with us all! question for Mahmoud, when it comes to link building do you do anchor text analysis of your competitors to see what they are doing or do you aim to get as many links as possible? Thanks

Mahmoud Fathy
Guest

Thanks Hasan, yes! first thing I do is to analyze my main competitors link profiles just to have an idea. But I always try to stick to safe anchors as much as possible. A small advice regarding this: don’t use a long anchor text more than one time & don’t use exact match anchors at all. unless you’re in some spammy niches and all of your competitors are doing the same.

Marc Hastenteufel
Guest

Great article! Thanks, guys.
No plans to get an expired domain but still lots of nuggets to bring home.
For example the H1 H2 H3 H3 H2 H2. Do you use a table of content on longer pages as well???

And finally, I have to read Matt’s guide now – good you pointed it out again!!

Good luck with this site and the next project!!!

Sumit Kumar Bansal
Guest
Sumit Kumar Bansal

Glad you liked it, Marc 🙂

Yeah right.

Thank you!

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Wow, great info. He could sell the site for 6-figures.

Sumit Kumar Bansal
Guest
Sumit Kumar Bansal

yeah definitely 😀

Hayat Ahmad
Guest

Awesome case study bro and some metrics Mahmood Bhai shared about the expired domain while going to pick up best one. To be frank, I didn’t know that there is a term like overoptimizing in your interlinking. shocked!

From today will try to focus on target my title on interlinking and off-page linking as well as.

Great CS Guy’s

Thanks to Mahmood & Sumit Bro

Are you new to expired domain for SEO?

Join my 2-Week Expired Domain Course and I will walk you through the entire process for free ^_^