How I Used Hand Registered Domains to Earn $5,800+ in September
Category : Domain Names, Make Money Online
Responses : 16 Comments
If you are into affiliate marketing you know that owning premium domain names will help you ring the register with CPA offers, but there’s tons of people who can’t afford premium domain names and honestly you can do quite well with some regular hand registered domain names. I normally don’t talk about my earnings, but I get tons of emails asking me to give some real life examples of my experiences so today I decided I’ll share a great example of how 20 hand registered domain names helped me earn $5,800+ in September with one of my methods.
Here’s the facts:
1. These earnings are through Neverblue. I use different CPA networks for different offers as it’s always a good idea to shop around and see where you can earn the most per conversion. I’ve always been paid on time by Neverblue so I have no problem recommending them to you all. You can apply here if you wanted to sign up with them (yes, that is my affiliate link to them, always use affiliate links whenever you can otherwise you are leaving money on the table).
2. I mentioned I used 20 hand registered domains which at a cost of around $9 per domain is $180 annually. If we want to look discreetly at September my September proportional expense of the domains was $180 / 12 months = $15. The server I’m using for these sites costs about $150 a year through GoDaddy (here’s a link for 50% off hosting if you need it) so the monthly expense for September hosting would have been $12.50. And I did spend some dollars on Fiverr, about $100 of them for SEO to these sites. Let’s assume that SEO work give me a positive impact which lasts a year, my September SEO expense portion is $8.33. My total expense to get this off the ground and running was $430 for a year, or less than $36 for September’s portion. With a cost of $36 and revenue of $5,800 in September that is a ridiculous rate of return.
3. I received 56,779 clickthroughs to the offer in September, of which 1,617 converted for a conversion rate of 2.85%. I don’t have the exact final count of traffic between these 20 sites, but my estimate is around 450,000 unique visitors for a pretty sweet 12.6% clickthrough rate. Not too shabby for 20 hand registered domains and $100 worth of SEO.
4. I actually wanted to have a better conversion rate, something around 5% or better because in the past I’ve been around there so I am always testing. Testing is IMPORTANT. If in September I was able to hit that 5% conversion rate I would have had another $4,500+ on this offer so you can see how improving through testing can have some good money implications for your bank account. What do you test? If you have banners you can test using different banners. If you have sales copy you can test different wording. Different colors, shapes, sizes, words, placement, static/animated, etc…
5. Out of these 20 sites only 1 ranks on the first page in Google. That’s right, these earnings did not rely on the Big G to drive traffic. The majority of the traffic came from Yahoo and Bing where old traditional SEO methods still work well. 12 of these sites are on the first page of either Yahoo or Bing for their main keyword while 6 of the sites are on the second page. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of all the games that Google plays. They are always changing things and my personal belief is that they want everyone to be confused/frustrated/desperate in order to pay for Adwords. While I probably would have made 3 times as much if my sites were ranking in Google, it would have cost me significantly more to try to jump through their hoops and even then you are not assured ranking well on Google.
What Did I Do?
A magician never gives away the keys to his tricks and while I’ve never pulled a rabbit out of a hat I believe in affiliate marketing you should follow that same mantra. I won’t give away my promotional methods because that would be stupid of me. When you work hard to develop, test, and profit in affiliate marketing that is your own personal secret formula. Look at Coca-Cola or KFC. They have their own secret formulas and they’ll be damned to give them away. Affiliate marketing is no different.
1. Start out small. Before you go full throttle into promoting an offer on a grand scale you should try profiting from it on a small scale. If you can’t make an acceptable profit on a small scale then why would you think doing it on a large scale would be any different. This will save you a bunch of time and money.
2. I already mentioned testing and I’ll mention it again. You saw above what a small change in conversion rate could mean to your bottom line. Some things work better then others, and the same thing isn’t always the best all the time. Don’t be lazy… test, test, test…
3. You do not need a big budget to make some big bucks. The $5,800 was what I made in September. These sites will continue to make money for months to come (maybe even years with some SEO upkeep). And if the conversions start to taper off I’ll have a nice strong sales history over time to use in order to sell the sites. There’s no reason for me to doubt that I can make six figures from these sites between owning them for time to come and/or selling them at some point. Not bad for an investment of under $500.
The key takeaways I would emphasize to someone who wants to make a living online is that you don’t need a ton of money to start out and you don’t need to rely on Google to provide the profits. A site can be started for under $100 and if you compare that to the startup costs of a brick and mortar store (mid five figures into six figures) you see why many people are jumping online and trying to make a living. And don’t try to cater to Google because you will most likely be disappointed at some point. I’ve had sites that had years of history, all natural backlinks, great content, and after ranking first page of Google for year(s) they have plummeted for no known reason. If you are able to build a site and it ranks well on Google that is a great bonus, but don’t build your site with Google in mind.
Nice article! Good to see that there are ways to make money without the need to rely on Google!
Impressive numbers from one month.
What SEO services would you recommend on Fiverr.com?
Is there a particular fiverr.com seller you normally recommend buying from?
When I use Fiverr for backlinks I try to find gigs that when I combine them it offers variety. Meaning one seller might sell backlinks on .edu properties, one seller might sell Wiki backlinks, etc… so this way you can attempt to display a natural backlink profile. The one thing I make sure to do is when I message the seller to provide them with the information I always let them know I want a diverse set of anchor text. You want to get good variety there, some anchor text will be my site’s URL, some will be my keyword/keyword variations, some will be “Click Here” “Visit” “check it out” type of anchors. Again, trying to mirror a natural backlink profile.
There’s no specific person I’d recommend. A lot of gigs start out high quality and then when the seller gets swamped with orders they tend to cut corners to speed things up so who did a good job yesterday might not do a good job tomorrow. I’d recommend just searching for something like “SEO” on Fiverr and then see what the feedback comments look like, how many negatives they got, how many orders are pending delivery, etc. in order to find something you think looks like a quality provider.
Thanks for the post. Very Interesting.
Just curious about the sites.
Are these landing pages, 1 page sites, mini sites or redirects?
I understand $5 x 20 sites for your $100 Fiverr SEO expense but what about content?
Each site has between 5-10 pages of content. I wrote the content myself. If you are familiar with the subject matter you can write articles very quickly.
Would you be able to at least direct us to one of those sites so that we can at least pick up some pointers?
Sorry but no. A good affiliate marketer will spend tons of time testing their ads in order to find out what works well. That is a ‘trade secret’ and I won’t give mine away.
Sounds very encouraging. Happy to hear the positives on Neverblue as I think Google has way too much clout.Are you able to give us at least one site to get a feel for the layout, etc.
Great post. Thank you. I’ve got a lot of keyword domains sitting dormant that I need to do something with.
This is a great idea for them. Do you have a sales page on the site to get conversions, a review with links to the offer, or a landing page?
In my experience what works best depends on what type of product/service you are marketing. I use sales pages when the product/service needs some explaining. I use banners when the product/service is pretty straightforward.
Quote “I won’t give away my promotional methods because that would be stupid of me”
So why did you write the post
Oh to get your affiliate links to go daddy etc out.
OMG omg omg such slush
Some people (who are lazy) cry when they aren’t spoonfed exact methods. Some people who are willing to put the time in and work hard can take some concepts/tidbits and put them to good use. I think I know which category you fall into.
and better yet why did “Domaining.com” pick up your article, maybe you paid them to.
Domaining picked up my article for the same reason it picks up all other non-sponsored articles. The only reason why I am not on Domaining daily is because I do not write domain related articles daily. Now quit holding out the spoon. I will not feed you like a baby.
Very good read. I have some questions if you can answer.
You say you rank in bing/yahoo mainly.
How long did it take for sites to rank in those search engines?
Did you use EMD names?
How many keywords do you target per site?
Any other tips you can give for ranking there?
I’m going to charge you per question here.
– Ranking in Yahoo/Bing doesn’t take long. A few weeks and you can be on the first page.
– I use EMD whenever I can try. If I can’t get the exact term I’ll add an adjective. I always try to get the keywords in domain name whenever I can.
– Not many. Usually 2 or 3 that I focus on. Sometimes only 1 keyword. I set expectations and try to be realistic. As long as the keyword gets enough searches you don’t need to target tons of keywords to generate revenue.
– There’s really no secrets to ranking. 1. Build a site with good on page SEO. 2. Get backlinks for good offsite SEO. 3. Have good content, make sure your site loads fast, and offer people the ability to spread your site (i.e. Facebook share button, Twitter, etc…). Now there’s tons of grayhat and blackhat SEO ways to get those backlinks but that is another conversation for another day.