Become a Writer Today

Maximizing Your Writing Income: Using Affiliate Websites to Earn More With Jamie IF

March 13, 2023 Bryan Collins Season 2
Become a Writer Today
Maximizing Your Writing Income: Using Affiliate Websites to Earn More With Jamie IF
Show Notes Transcript

Can affiliate marketing help you earn more money as a writer working online? The answer is yes; affiliate marketing is a fantastic way to grow your income as a writer.

You can create content about the products, services, or tools you use daily. The difference is that you would do this on a niche website about a specific topic or concept rather than about you.

In other words, it's different from writing about something personal or what's happening in your day. That's a mistake that new bloggers often make. They wonder why they're not earning money online because they simply write about their day.

There are a few caveats to affiliate marketing. Firstly, it can be competitive. And secondly, it's usually a good idea only to pick products, services, and tools you use, recommend, and trust yourself.

In other words, you're going to create content about something you rely on and are happy to recommend to others.

This week, I caught up with a niche website expert specializing in affiliate marketing and in-affiliate content. Jamie I.F. of runs over ten different websites across many niches. 

He publishes monthly income reports on his website about what's working and not working. He earns five figures a month from his portfolio from affiliate marketing, display advertising, and other monetization methods. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Janie's framework for affiliate marketing
  • Building affiliate websites
  • How to capture the attention of your readers


Jamie's website

Support the show

If you enjoyed the show please leave a review on Apple. And if you have any questions you can find me on Twitter @BryanJCollins

Thanks for listening!

Jamie: Don't try and impose yourself on them, but let them understand that you're just a confident expert. A comfortable, relaxed, confident expert is the style that we try to give our writers.


Welcome to the Become a Writer Today Podcast with Bryan Collins. Here, you’ll find practical advice and interviews for all kinds of writers.

Bryan: Can affiliate marketing help you earn more money as a writer working online? Hi there. My name is Bryan Collins. Welcome to the Become a Writer Today Podcast. The answer is yes, affiliate marketing is a fantastic way to grow your income as a writer. Basically, you can create content about the products, or the services, or the tools that you use every day. Now, the difference is that you would do this on a niche — or a niche if you're in the United States — website that's about a specific topic or a concept rather than about you. In other words, it's a bit different to writing about something personal or that's happening in your day. That's a mistake that new bloggers often make. They wonder how come they're not earning money from writing online because they're simply writing about their day.

Now, there are a few caveats to affiliate marketing. Firstly, it can be quite competitive. And secondly, it's usually a good idea to only pick products and services and tools that you use, recommend, and trust yourself. In other words, you're going to create content about something that you rely on and which you are happy to recommend to others. One example for me is Grammarly. I use Grammarly almost every day to check the writing of freelance writers who produce content for Become a Writer Today, and also to check my own work. So, I'm pretty happy to recommend it because it helps me find and fix errors quickly and easily. That's also a tool I know quite well. So, I'm quite familiar with what the Grammarly team are planning for Grammarly.

This week, I did catch up with a niche website expert who specializes in affiliate marketing and in affiliate content. Jamie I.F. of runs over 10 different websites across a multitude of niches. Now, on his main website — which you can find, — he publishes monthly income reports about what's working and not working on his portfolio. And suffice to say, he earns multiple five figures a month from his portfolio from a combination of affiliate marketing, display advertising, and other monetization methods. So, I was fascinated to catch up with an online writer or a content publisher who is killing it online today. In this week's interview, he has a really helpful framework, which can help you if you're only at the start of your journey. It's called the SPEAR framework, and Jamie describes how to use this in your articles and in your blog posts to capture the attention of readers. That's towards the end of the interview, so do hang on for that one.

I hope you enjoy this week's interview with Jamie. He's an expert in affiliate marketing and in building affiliate websites. If you do enjoy this week's interview, please consider leaving a short review on the iTunes Store. Because your reviews and ratings do help more writers find the Become a Writer Today Podcast. You can, of course, share the show with another writer or another friend on Overcast, or Stitcher, or Spotify, or wherever you're listening. I hope you enjoy this one.


Bryan: Usually, I interview authors about their books and so on. But every now and again, I do like to catch up with writers, content creators, and publishers who are earning a good living online through different monetization options. This week does show that it's still possible to earn a living from the written word today. My guest today is Jamie I.F. He is an expert in building 6- and 7-figure niche sites. Welcome to the show, Jamie.

Jamie: Thank you for having me. It's going to be an interesting conversation.

Bryan: I came across your work on the podcast, Niche Pursuits. I've also interviewed a number of niche website builders — or niche if you're in the United States — over the past few years. So, for context, the niche or niche website basically describes building a site about a specific topic rather than about a blog or writing about their day. Usually, it's supported by a keyword strategy and some monetization as well. It can be quite a profitable business model for writers who want to earn a living writing online. It's also fair to say it's an unusual business model. How did you get into it?

Jamie: Sure. So, I was at uni. I have a degree in economics. It was a four-year degree. So, if you want to extend it into a fourth year, you do a third year in the industry. And so, I didn't plan anything. I left it too late. The last minute, there was this below minimum wage pay, illegal underpayment job in Paris. So, I said, I'll go, yeah. I'll get three years, and I'll try and apply. It was there at this publisher. From there, I realized that you can actually make money in writing. It seemed crazy to me. Because the year before that, I tried to launch a streetwear company. It was on Instagram. It had like 16,000 followers on Instagram back in the day, but it didn't make any sales. I was like, "Alright. How do we get sales without spending money?" And so, I felt like I'd been blind to now I could see.

And so, after university and having seen that you can make money with ads but also seeing the highbrow publisher I worked for in Paris, this sort of aversion to display ads and affiliate revenue — because they thought it was just too lowbrow for them, I think it took a while for people to adjust to what was normal and what was spammy, and what wasn't — I wanted to try that out. And so, I just got writing really. Eventually, having got enough traffic in there and learned how to monetize it, how you put affiliate links in there, how you take people through the buying process with content and writing, and here we are now of these sites.

Bryan: Did you have a background in SEO as well, or is that something that you — or a skill that you began to acquire when you started building your sites?

Jamie: Sure. So, I learned SEO while I was in Paris at that publisher, because I think they championed it once. We showed that it could work, but it was very much as a beginner then. It was like, "Oh, how do I cram these keywords in, rather than actually, like, how do you write well to win on user metrics? Along with SEO, it was about four years ago. I've been trying to improve ever since.

Bryan: Yeah, it's a field that's constantly changing, particularly with changes. Thanks to ChatGPT, AI, and also the algorithm as well. Did you then go down the road of focusing on display advertising, or were you always drawn towards affiliate advertising or affiliate marketing?

Jamie: For a while, before I learned what the Amazon Associates Program was. It was like, alright, I'll make these 100 quid a month from ads for getting — yeah, I think it was like $2 on Google AdSense. I didn't know that there was more lucrative companies that offered you a lot more money.

I realized that Amazon had an affiliate program. And I had written just because they got traffic, these best whatever. We'll use vacuums as an example. Top 10 vacuums, they got traffic. I said, okay. We can get display as traffic. I then realized you could add an affiliate link to this. Within the first day, I'd made a first sale and made a $15 commission. From there, it was very much focused on that and how do we write commercial content. A good market sale, copywriting skills that we've learned to convert well, and then make a lot more from affiliates than ads.

But I'm not normal from the sort of niche site scene in that load. Most people will fall, sort of mostly followed the display ads route. But for us, of the money we made over the last few months, 75% is affiliate, 20% is display ads, and 5% is direct sponsorships.

Bryan: You think affiliate marketing is getting harder these days for content creators thanks to bigger brands, owning a lot of the search, real estate? For example, will famously go after a lot of high traffic affiliate keywords are making it harder for smaller publishers to compete.

Jamie: It's getting harder in every industry every year, affiliate marketing included. I used to be number one or number two for the base keyword. Let's say, just vacuum cleaner for one. Now you don't get on that. This is e-commerce. Because Google now thinks that different things should rank and meet the intent of the searcher. So, we don't get the base "vacuum cleaner" keyword anymore. We do on Bing but not on Google. But even now, it used to just be us and another company that was fighting for this.

Now even for the best term, we're like ninth. And so, it doesn't send 10% of the clicks it used to despite us getting a lot better at SEO, improving the article every six months. But you cannot fight against some of these huge brands with domain authority or DR or some people call it different things, which is the sum of the links that basically point to your site and when you are an extremely famous publisher. Think of the companies owned by Dotdash Meredith and Future plc and other holding companies that are publicly-traded companies that have these brands. It is very, very, very difficult unless you're willing to spend a month doing the video, the article. It has been the best thing, which isn't worth your time because you could do 20 articles in that time. You will, over time, most likely, as there's a race to the bottom as there is in every industry. We are degrading over a lot of things. But we've continued to make more money, because new opportunities come along for lower competition links that weren't worth it before, and now they're worth it.

The ability to monetize the existing traffic, the revenue per page view is also consistently increased over time. So, while you might be targeting lower and lower search for new keywords, there's so much tech now to improve and measure and manage your traffic. We've continued to — I mean, we're still getting traffic because we're publishing only the most competitive ones or the ones that are worth going after if you're a big company.

We've also increased the revenue per page view so much, because there's so much data available and new tools to optimize your conversion rate. For example, I installed Lasso on my sites because they make these really nice displays that look great and nice big buttons to click on. It's similar to what Wirecutter's use is. So, we've managed to get so much more revenue per page. We were up to around $0.14 per page view or $140 RPM over the sites generally. While it might get more competitive and big brands are seeing more and more opportunities in this space, if you're a niche publisher, you're an expert in one particular thing and you take advantage of the tools that are available, it's still extremely profitable. I'm overpaid for how not talented I am in this game, and I don't see that changing.

Bryan: Well, a lot to be fair. A lot of successful online businesses do have really high returns versus traditional online businesses, when we don't have stock or we are the same kind of overheads that a physical premises would have. You run yours as a business as well. When I set up my site, I originally wrote all the content myself. Then I subsequently set up all the other sites and hired writers to produce articles for the other sites. Do you have many writers on your team at the moment?

Jamie: Yeah, we have six writers that are sort of like in-house freelancers, if that's how you say it. They only work with us, but they also do other things as well. It's not like a full-time only us. Some of them, we pay per word. Some of them, we pay just like a straight flat rate per day, and they do eight days a week or whatever. Not eight days a week, eight days a month or whatever the agreement is.

But I think the days of choosing a domain, outsourcing all the content and the cashing in, the doors are closing on that. It's never been a more profitable and better time to start your own online brand, if it's going to be one or maybe two projects that you focus on exclusively and manage much more actively and focused on. But I think the days of being able to run a dozen sites, not really having much control or active focus on any of them. Basically, it makes sense because it's been open to be as good. The content is not going to have the same editorial standards. It's not going to be as helpful. There's not going to be an expert. I mean, unless you're an extremely intelligent polymath, I don't think you can be an expert to that level and talk different topics anyway. So, it's going to be more and more difficult for non-experts and people that like — there are a lot of technical aspects to this site. Yes, your internal linking, your branding, your design, your editing. Beyond the words, how good are the image is and the other ways of offsetting and complementing content.

And so, we have this team. We've focused more and more writers around a smaller and smaller number of websites. I'm looking to sell a number of them this year just so they can become brands. Because a niche site itself is a two-dimensional thing. It's content and a website. You can optimize and should optimize all those things for site speed, attractive design, good content. That's with AI, and SERPs, and with the increasing other things coming up, shopping ads everywhere. People also, us, obviously, being as chat bot, as well as Google's board. If you don't adapt, eventually, they'll going to scalp more and more bits of you. But if you can then build a brand, if you can do video, if you can be ever present, if you can do email, it's never been a more powerful time to be influential and to be an influencer. The way it's going is, the influencers are going to get richer and richer over the next five years. And non-branded entities will suffer and bleed out. But if you're willing to be the face of your site and be the face of your brand, you are going to make millions and millions and millions. Possibly, billions if your name is MrBeast.

Bryan: Good example. Yeah, it sounds like you might be able to tap into some of those skills you learned years ago to build 15,000 or 16,000 followers on Instagram, and combine that with your SEO knowledge.

Jamie: I'm very grateful. I just hit 10,000 on Twitter. They follow me, but I don't actually do a lot of social media for our sites. It's the one thing we're trying to do at the moment. I'm trying to work at how we can use ChatGPT to summarize our scores into threads and stuff like that. I'm still experimenting, but I'll keep everyone updated as I do that.

Bryan: Yeah, ChatGPT. It feels like a lot of Twitter writers are trying to do something similar. Do you imagine that you will focus on a couple of sites with yourself as the face, or would you perhaps write it in the background and have someone else's face over the next few years?

Jamie: Sure. My plan for the last few months has been to try and get a workshop, hire someone who's going to be like a full-time site operator to then actually test the products, do really in-depth videos. We're both, one, moving into video and, two, building the brand. Because there's a face, a likeable person, that people can identify with as they read the content. It's either that or celebrity. Because I think if you get caught in the middle, there's good content but only two dimensional rather than moving into the multichannel — video, social media, email stuff. It's going to be difficult for this year onwards. The plan is not for me to be the face, but slim down the portfolio, focus on these main two, maybe three sites.

Whenever I see a winner — and I think that I can use the skills that I've gained now. I'm trying to invest in sites that have a great face behind them that have the expertise, that perhaps I can help them with what I've learned, with scaling systems and writing and content. Help them get there but like a sort of pseudo investor consultant style thing to grow these other brands. They could be excellent brands, but require a face and a talented person to do the legwork. Then we can partner up and do that, which is an interesting model as well.

Bryan: It’s certainly something to look at. How do you think about what to do each week or each month? Do you think of it in terms of articles to update or publish or keywords to optimize for? Do you somewhat measure data you'd like to keep track of?

Jamie: The only thing that matters is money.

Bryan: For a niche site, true.

Jamie: But there's a lot of dimensions that affect how much money you make run. I tell people at trafficking cash, a bit of a rip-off of JK Molina's likes ain't cash on Twitter, a lot of people like to show off their Google Search Console or whatever. It's like 200,000 clicks. Yeah, but if you've picked a soft niche that they are up here, here's $1 per 1,000 views, you make less than my site that gets 2,000 page views a month. But you actually can monetize that traffic.

So, you need to, in my opinion, come from a good understanding of what keywords to make. You want money? Have ways of measuring data, page views, and the revenue from that. So, combine your ad RPM days with your affiliate commissions data. Most people don't even track what links are getting what money. You can do custom tracking on almost all affiliate programs. You can also use various tools that are now coming out that will automatically track everything for you in one dashboard. Then, you can know. Okay. This article makes me $70 a month. This one makes me $700 a month. So, if we're going to be completely analytical, this one should take up 10 times my focus. Or if one is falling, you can set it up fairly easily in Google Data Studio. You can track, split things up from the category, from the articles themselves and see general macro trends across your site. Using that is a lot more easy to take a look at it from a bird's eye view of your entire site, see where the work needs to be done. Then outsource or write that.

I wrote the first 200 posts. I now barely do any writing. I do most of the optimizations. But then, most of the actual writing is outsourced. But being able to know which places to tackle, as well as, for example, if you've started a site on vacuums but you also cover carpet cleaners and whatever else. If you find one sub niche there, that's way more profitable either from the affiliate conversion, the ads. You can know that once you've got a good control over your data and understand how profitable each subsection is to better prioritize, to where you can make the most money, writing about the things that really pay well.

Bryan: Were they on the same site? So, you're covering the sub niche on the same site that started to rank for it.

Jamie: Yeah, at one point, I checked all the RPN data and realized we've got to make one smaller site. It's mostly physical products. But then, there's one side of that that the RPMs are insanely high on. I said, okay, well, let's have a look and write a bunch more of these. See if we can make a lot more money, because these rpms are three times as much as what this site was getting normally.

Bryan: Okay. You mentioned you're using Google Search Console. Are there any other tools that you rely on? I know you use Lasso, which is a tool that I've used as well.

Jamie: I mean, for actual SEO, we do most general stuff in Ahref. We also use Surfer SEO for some stuff we write at. We also use Google Search Console for monitoring. Also, there's other ways of doing that, like Analytics. But also, there are tools in our ad provider's dashboard to see things which came from Bing and which came from Google per site. Stuff like that, that's useful to know.

What else we use? I think about others as software we generally use. We use Grammarly to check things. There's also a plagiarism checker in there. We tried playing around with the AI checkers for Originality.AI, but I didn't find it to be very accurate. And so, we don't use it. Often, it will flag good content that's just gone through Grammarly. Grammarly uses the same predictive models to work out. Then it's like reverse engineer the same GPT framework. I don't find the AI checkers to be useful. We don't use those yet.

We also use things like ChatGPT to generate some stuff, like the factors to consider in a best vacuum cleaner buying guide. Like, should you think about how long it lasts before you need to charge it, or whatever else to be created. We use AnswerThePublic for FAQs, but we might switch. I'm looking at Search Response. I'm looking AlsoAsked, KeywordsPeopleUse. A lot of these ones at the moment. I think there are few others, but I can't remember them off top my head.

Bryan: That's a fairly full stack. I've used some of those tools. Search Response is quite good for FAQ questions. I've also used previously AnswerThePublic, but it's a little bit expensive. Now, I like Clearscope as well, instead of Surfer SEO.

Jamie: Yeah, I've got my year subscription to Surfer. I need to see if any of them have a better option now for the price. I've also used Copyscape in other projects. It looks good.

Bryan: Copyscape is good. What about the actual size of your sites? Do you think of them in terms of articles or in terms of traffic or keywords?

Jamie: Well, our largest site has just over 500 articles. We've always found that, for these main ones, the average traffic per article per month is around 400 to 500. So, if you've got that, you can reverse engineer our traffic. It's not that high. Because we can do $0.14 per page view, we've always just focused on what are the big topics, and how do we go squeeze every bit out of them. That ends up being decent enough. We think of them in the money and how do we prioritize making the most money from them. But you can only do that by creating exquisitely good stuff and helping people.

So, there's a nice alignment. We don't have to do anything shady. We just don't. Okay. If I was a buyer, what am I worried about? What are my pain points? How can we help you and direct you to what best helps you? So, if we add value, we then do well out of it. When we're talking about it, yeah, we want to prioritize whatever, money, traffic. It all comes from helping people. So, it's a nice alignment of incentives.

Bryan: Are you comfortable going into a niche, Jamie, that you don't know too much about if you feel like there's a good opportunity there? Or do you prefer to pick niches where you see there's some commercial intent, and you feel like you could apply what you've learned from all of your sites?

Jamie: Well, I wouldn't be starting new sites now that I'm not an expert or didn't have the facilities to have expert people. Because Google is good at telling what content is good and what is bad now. It's getting more and more difficult. People would go, why is this site ranking? And I see a lot of them. I'm still frustrated with some of these competitions that are ranking, either some keywords that they're not good. But they're generally now more so the exception rather than the rule.

How do I feel about starting sites that I'm not an expert in? As long as the product is excellent and it adds value, that's the only thing that matters. It doesn't matter if the actual site owner is an expert, as long as they have the facility to hire teams that are experts and create value and add to the world in a positive way. So, it would be whether that was a possibility rather than my own personal knowledge. Because I'm not that clever. I don't know a lot about stuff.

Bryan: Yeah. Sometimes I've worked on copywriting projects where the topic is quite boring, and I found it's a lot harder to get motivated. Whereas if I have an interest in something, it's certainly easier to write about it and to research it.

Jamie: I pick purposely really boring niches because I like an extra barrier to entry. It's entry to beat boredom. I don't want it to be easy to compete with me. I want the best moat. If the part of the moat is how unexciting, then great. I don't get bored at this stuff. This is just like — I love the competition. I love ranking stuff. I like building and stuff. So, I don't get bored. If I pick something that everyone else is going to get bored writing about, then I'm happy with that.

Bryan: B2B will be a good example of more boring niches that are a little bit harder to get into. It certainly would have a greater return. I work as a B2B copywriter.

Jamie: Nice.

Bryan: It's quite a good place to get a job in writing. Have you looked at B2B at all, or do you mostly focus on consumer products?

Jamie: It's mostly consumer products and more boring ones.

Bryan: Okay. So, you mentioned you have 500 plus articles on the site. Alluding to it, a Twitter strategy put up recently about pruning old content. So, I'm going to do an exercise where I'm reviewing a larger site and removing a lot of the irrelevant articles that aren't getting traffic, and combining them with articles that are getting traffic. Do you have a system or an approach for content pruning?

Jamie: We haven't got a system I could then trust one of the team to do. I'm still very early days with this because we never deleted an article yet on the main site. So, my current thought process is — but I have not conclusively done the research to advise anybody else do this — is to just look at what's old and what no longer meets search intent. Then do take a value judgment. One, does it have links? Because if it has links, then it should stay. And is it a good piece of content?

I was speaking to Luke Jordan who runs DiamondLobby. He's an excellent SEO. He has a much deeper knowledge than I do. He was saying, because I was worried that we had some good journalistic roundups of the industry in our main site. But over the time, they're no longer showing those for the keyword that it was written about the topic on. And so, it's decayed. It's deteriorated. It's a couple years old. It no longer meets search intent. So, it doesn't get traffic.

I was thinking, well, we spent a lot of time on this. I'm quite proud of it as a journalistic piece of internet real estate. But do you think this is dragging the site down? He said, "As long as it's good, I don't think so." So, I think that when people talk about content being helpful or Google helpful content updates, I think let's just separate it into two modules. One, is it made in the search intent? Two, is it good? Because meeting search intent does not equal not good. And so, we're now pruning content with regards to content quality rather than my initial fears, which was if it's not getting traffic, then it's at risk.

But actually, there's a lot more reasons to create content — and Google understand this — than just to get traffic. That would do a lot of sites that create like social media-focused traffic that wouldn't do as well on SEO and whatever, viral style things, which doesn't necessarily mean they're bad and they shouldn't exist. And so, I'm looking at it now from a more holistic view of quality. Does this add value? Is this too outside our wheelhouse? Is it reducing our ability to be perceived as a professional niche site? Within the actual niche, it is too far out. Rather than this excellent piece of content, it doesn't meet search intent. Therefore, it has to go. I no longer think that. And we're keeping the good quality stuff. Is it straying too far out of our territory that we should be writing about? And is it bad? If it ranks, then it's probably fine.

Bryan: That makes sense. Yeah. I mean, help documentation will be a good example. It might not bring in a lot of traffic for a software site. But it still is fulfilling some use case for users, not the app or the tool or the product.

Jamie: Yeah, I agree.

Bryan: So, you publish a monthly income report on your site. I'm curious. Do you plan several months ahead in advance, or do you work on a month-to-month basis, or do you have a plan for the whole year? Do you have some other approach?

Jamie: I've been guilty of being very disorganized for a long time. But I've got better in the last few months. So, we have the entire year's keyword research for our main sites already done.

Bryan: Impressive. Wow. All year?

Jamie: Well, I mean, stuff will come up, right? We might identify new stuff from Google Search Console data that we've literally done in the last few days and now we have three new articles to write or whatever. But the plan is based on this — to go from 500 to 900 articles on the main site, from up to 400 or so on smaller site and whatever else. And so, we've planned that. We've also advised everyone does this. It's that you split all the content. Obviously, the categories or whatever. But you can do it in a more refined way.

If you run a vacuum site, you should split them into best vacuums, guides, the materials they clean, anything else that has entity within it, so that you can add those to your Excel spreadsheet. Or I advise Airtable clusters and sub entities to make internal linking. It's so easy, that even a VA that doesn't know SEO can do it. That helps you plan in advance, because you can see what is going to form part of a cluster well in advance of actually writing anything. So, we're planning everything in advance.

Now, for content, I'm training people to do the briefing. I still do the editing, but maybe I can outsource that. And we have a team that do the actual image sourcing, article formatting in WordPress so they can go up and publish in that the affiliate links and stuff. And so, we plan better than we used to, but it's still more chaotic than I would like it to be.

Bryan: I presume all of your team are in different locations, and you're collaborating with them using a project management software or some sort.

Jamie: We use Trello at the moment, but we're beginning, I think, to grow out. We need some more granularity to some of the aspects that make it less effective. So, we may look for a different tool. Some of the teams are in the UK. We're in the U.S. and some out of those countries. And so, we are asynchronous. A lot of it is done from briefs that are in Trello, like this is how you're writing the article, as well as if there's any new concepts to understand. Or, for example, if I updated the way that we're going to write intros, it would just be a Loom video that goes to everyone, for then everyone to learn in their own time and be able to act on that information.

Bryan: This is the SPEAR framework. I think you went into detail on this on your interview on the Niche Pursuits Podcast. Could you briefly describe this SPEAR framework? I thought it's quite helpful for writers to learn as a good introduction for articles.

Jamie: I'm glad it was helpful. I don't claim to be a good writer or anything else, but I do a lot of editing. And so, I can pick up holes in stuff to optimize, but I'm not a good writer myself. And so, this framework came about because we were on this way to standardize as much as possible with the found writers didn't like. To summarize, they have a different idea of what an introduction is. This is mainly around affiliate commercial content.

The SPEAR framework is S, making sure that people are in the right place instantly. They go, "Alright. I'm in the right place. I'm staying here. And I'm reading this entire article." So, you hit it. Ask me, search your user intent. Search intent is the 's' in SPEAR. So, you basically repeat why they came in the intro. We're going to make sure that we tell you exactly what is the best vacuum for you. Also, try and do it everything else in the same way. As in like, "We're also going to talk about the top five tips that you might not know about before anything else, as well as some frequently asked questions on how to make your vacuum work the best for you." Anything like that, beyond the actual best top 10 vacuums. That makes people think, "Okay, these guys understand me. I'm in the right place here."

P is the pain points. It's the most important point in my opinion. You need it. Negative emotions weigh significantly higher in people's minds than positive ones. And so, if you can talk about things from a sales point about what they miss out on, make it an emotional storing, then you'll be more convincing and more compelling.

E is expertise and not being insecure. That'd be like, "I really know my stuff. You better listen to me." It's about inferring authority rather than trying to prove that you're the person to trust. Inferring like, "In my 15 years as a vet, I learned that dogs are great. And so, this is the best dog harness." But don't try and impose yourself on them. But let them understand that you're just a confident expert. A comfortable, relaxed, confident expert is the style that we try to give our writers.

Focus on the last three if you have to. But the A and the S are very similar, in that they're both about appealing — A is the audience part. It's very similar to the search intent. But rather than just letting people know that they're in the right place, audience is about knowing exactly who is coming to that page and the different segments that will come to that page. For example, you might have people that are more budget-focused, more professional people, people that want to use your software for Mac or Linux or whatever. Understanding all of those segments before you write means that you can both get stuff into the intro prior for all of those and just generally target. The statement is like, "These are the best, cheap vacuums that you want to use." In verbiage, that is more budget-friendly.

And R, which if you've done all the others correctly, R builds itself in. R is rapport. So, you want to be likable. People need to trust you, which is why being the face of the brand and having something there is so easy and makes it like easy mode for the rest of it. But mention anything that you got wrong at the beginning and how you've learned from it, which also boosts your perceived expertise because you've actually got direct experience and done all this stuff. But be a nice guy. Be friendly. Be a nice person. Be humble but also confident, relaxed expert. And the rapport will fall into place if you've done all the others. People want to be taken — they want to be a friend. They want to be helped. They want to feel comfortable. And if you can do that, the rapport will build itself. You will make great sales.

Bryan: Yeah, the introduction will be the most important part. Because if somebody lands and it's not the article they're looking for, they're quickly going to bounce off the page.

Jamie: Yeah, which is why the first, public search intent, is so important — letting them know that they're in the right place so they can then mentally commit to reading the whole thing. Because you've given them something, like a teasing thing for what will come that they are interested in.

Bryan: So, you're going to create a course based on your knowledge of writing for affiliate sites or building affiliate sites at some point?

Jamie: I have no current plans to sell anything to anyone. I don't sell anything. Not because I hate writing; I'm happy to make money. It's just not a priority list right now. I'm enjoying the projects.

Bryan: Do your audios, do you sell digital products on your niche sites?

Jamie: We do on our new site. It's doing really well, but I don't really see — it's not a priority now within this personal brand space to do anything like that. I'm happy to give away all for free in threads and stuff. I enjoy writing and learning and telling people about that. If that's valuable, then that's great and I'm happy about that.

Bryan: Oh, great. So, Jeremy, where can people go if they want to learn more tips, like the framework we just talked about a moment ago?

Jamie: Sure. I tweet about a lot. My Twitter is @Jamie_IF. I also write blogs on Just type in And we have a newsletter that goes out with things I'm using on, like digital marketing, email, SEO, affiliate marketing, generally making money online. Those are the main two places. I also do YouTube a little bit. Just type in Jamie IF. It will come up but not a huge amount. I want to scale it up though. I'm enjoying video.

Bryan: Yeah, well, video is a bit more work. But yeah, it's enjoyable. So, I'll put the links in the show notes. But thanks for your time, Jamie.

Jamie: Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Thank you very much. I hope everyone enjoyed it.


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