Disclaimer: Some links in this post may be affiliate links. Making a purchase after clicking one of these links may result in a commission for me. Also, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

When I first got into blogging several years ago, the method I saw being promoted the most on YouTube and on blogs was to target affiliate products with your posts. I recall this clearly because I remember constantly reading how you really needed to be careful not to overdo it, since you didn’t want to upset Google and lose your rankings.

The thought process at the time, and likely still today, was to balance your affiliate content with info-based content, as Google was known for tanking sites that had too many affiliate links on their site.

At the time, I thought this was the only option and I ended up including a decent amount of affiliate content on my first site. That is until that site got hit hard and lost about two-thirds of its rankings overnight.

In that particular case, I was indeed overdoing it with the affiliate links, both in the affiliate-based content and the info-based content. I wanted to get to payday as quickly as possible, so instead of being patient, I tried taking shortcuts.

Thankfully, I eventually stumbled upon a less-risky process for building sites, which I shifted to immediately, and I haven’t looked back since.

Declining Risk

I went through the articles on that first site and started removing any affiliate links that really didn’t make sense to be there. I also started to only publish non-affiliate content.

A few months later, that site regained all of its rankings. That was a few years ago. The site today consistently brings in over 300,000 visitors per month and is still climbing.

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Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. My goal with this post is not to tell you that affiliate marketing doesn’t work. In fact, it can be extremely profitable if you know what you’re doing, and plenty of people have extremely successful affiliate sites.

Instead, I want to show you that you have options, and one of those options doesn’t involve producing any buyer-intent content on your sites. It’s a path that most people ignore, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s so effective (take a look at our income reports if you don’t believe me).

In this post, I’m going to go over just a few of the benefits of creating a purely info-based site, which is a low-risk option that can generate a large and passive income stream.

1 – Lower Competition

For most of us, we create websites with a goal of earning an income from those websites. With that being said, it’s seems logical on the surface to build sites around products and services, because that’s what people pay for, right?

While that’s definitely true, even sites that aren’t built around products and services can make a ton of money. While the return varies by the niche, an info-based site can easily generate anywhere from $10 – $30+ per 1,000 sessions.

Session RPM, which is the amount of revenue you make per 1,000 sessions, is a common metric used for measuring ad revenue. Our four sites range anywhere from about $20 – $45 RPMs, just from ads. If you add a handful of affiliate links or sell digital or physical products as well, you can push that number even higher.

This is a great return, especially when you factor in the competition level for info-based keywords. Because these types of keywords aren’t product-based, many people simply ignore them.

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Passion Posts

Instead, people go after buyer-intent keywords, with the assumption that the return is much higher. And while you definitely can make plenty of money with buyer-intent keywords, you can also make a ton of money with informational keywords.

Just to clarify, informational keywords would be ones like:

  • how to ride a bike in the dark
  • can you swim in a river?
  • are bugs attracted to light?

Where buyer-intent keywords would be more like:

  • best mountain bikes under $300
  • helmet A vs helmet B
  • must have items for a first aid kit

To summarize, because informational keywords are thought to be difficult to monetize, many people simply ignore them. As a result, it’s much easier to find low-competition info-based keywords than it is to find low-competition product-based keywords.

2 – More Keywords to Target

Options

Another big benefit of targeting informational keywords is that there’s simply a larger pool of keywords to target. The vast majority of searches that people make in a search engine are simply to find information, not necessarily to make a purchase.

With that being said, if you build an affiliate site, you’re going to want to build a good portion of your articles (25% or more) around buyer-intent keywords. Not only are there significantly less of these to find, but because they are considered “money keywords,” the competition is significantly greater.

On the other hand, if you simply target info-based keywords, which are typically questions related to a niche, you’ll have a huge pool of keywords to pull from. Even in the toughest niches, you should be able to find plenty of low-competition opportunities to pursue.

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Lastly, because you have so many more potential keywords to target, the growth potential of your site will be much larger. This means that you can continue to grow your passive income stream by simply adding additional posts on topics within your niche.

3 – Easily Montetized

One reason that many people avoid building informational sites is that they are under the impression that you can’t make much money with them or that you need a significant amount of traffic to make even a small amount of money. This simply isn’t true.

Ad RPMs have continued to climb over the years, and as a result, you can make quite a bit of money from simple, informational posts that don’t target products or services at all. In addition, premium ad networks, like Mediavine and AdThrive (and even Ezoic), provide significantly higher returns than what you might see with something like AdSense.

With that being said, there are definitely some niches that will be more difficult to monetize than others. If your goal is to make as much money as possible, you’ll want to stick to family-friendly topics to give yourself the best chance of being accepted by the premium ad networks.

Regarding traffic, depending on your goals, you might need quite a bit of traffic to make as much as you might with a smaller affiliate site. However, as I mentioned in the last section, because you have more keywords to choose from and those keywords are less competitive, adding more content to your site really isn’t as big of a deal as you might think it is.

4 – Passive Income

Laying on Beach with Laptop

The last point I want to make about building an info site vs. an affiliate site is that an info site has the potential to be significantly more passive. When I say more passive, I mean you can put the initial effort in to create the content, and that content will continue to provide a return for years with very little input from you.

This is a huge part of my team’s model. Our goal with each article that we write is to create a small income stream that can provide a return for years to come. This only works when targeting evergreen topics.

Targeting evergreen topics is easy with an info site, but can be challenging with an affiliate site. If you’re constantly creating content around products, you need to update or even recreate that content as new products or versions of products are released.

Along the same lines, with an affiliate site, you’re going to get the best return if you actively market your content, especially around the holidays. With an informational site, you simply set it and forget it.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to making money online, your options are truly endless. Even when it comes to building websites, you have affiliate marketing, drop shipping, ecommerce, and more.

Each method come with its own pros and cons, and some methods will work better for you than for others. Just because you might see one blog or video that says that info-sites are a waste of time or that selling your own products is the only way to go, don’t rule anything out without giving it a fair shot first.

If you’re looking for a low-risk option that can produce a passive stream of income for years to come, building an info site is a great option to consider. However, it’s in your best interest to keep an open mind and test anything that you think has potential.

At the end of the day, go down the path that makes the most sense to you and helps you to reach your goals.

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    Author

    After spending several years struggling to find a reliable way to make money online, I finally developed a simple system that produces large and consistent results. My small team and I are now generating life-changing income for all of us by building simple niche websites using the basic steps covered on Passive Income Unlocked.

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