Is Domain Real Estate a Dying Investment – Pro’s and Con’s of Site Ownership

Hey Everyone,

What is a domain and how can it become an important entity to your online business?

For some, this question is very elementary and the answer is quite obvious.  But really, after being in this business for close to 10 years now, I truly believe the purpose of a website has shifted drastically and the way people build businesses online and the reasons have also taken a major shift.

A domain is becoming more and more a real estate.

The power of domains in Google

Although Matt Cutts, a software engineer at Google that relays a lot of information about the biggest algorithm changes (including the recent Panda update), states that domains do not play a significant role in the ranking algorithm, the results clearly state something completely different.

Before I share some results, let’s look at this from a “common sense” standpoint.

Say you have a brand, example, Walmart.   If you type in the search term “walmart” into Google, you would hope that the specific brand Walmart would achieve the top rankings.   It is their “branded” keyword and the keyword rich domain for that brand Walmart.com should take the #1 spot.

Sure enough, it is.  If you look at some of the other top brands, you will see this as well.

Check out “street articles” or “wealthy affiliate”.  Thess both hold the number one rankings, and why shouldn’t they, it is the keyword rich, branded URL.

Here is where it gets cool…

How can Google know what URL represents the brand, and which URL is simply a keyword rich domain.  One that someone has bought with the attempt to “buy up the keyword”.

They typically don’t.  So simply through buying a keyword rich domain, you can pretty much assure yourself a good positioning within the search engines.

I ran a couple of tests with a few silly domains:

muppetbabiessong.com targeting the term “muppet babies song” (720 global monthly searches)
dexterbobblehead.com targeting the term “dexter bobbleheads” (880 global monthly searches)

I quickly set up a WordPress blog using WP Express at Wealthy Affiliate, and added a few simple pages of content to the homepage.  I let them sit for a couple of weeks. Now if these get ranked without any work, then this proves that keyword rich domains have “pull” in Google, does it not?

Here are the search results in Google for “muppet babies song”:

website-muppet-babies-song

Seriously.  I spent less than 20 minutes from start to finish setting up this domain, and it has a #6 ranking in Google.  Not bad and results that we as marketers should not overlook.

But how about good ol’ Dexter.  Here are the Google search results for “dexter bobblehead”

dexter bobble head google rankings

Ah ha…a #5 ranking in Google.  Again, little to no work.   Just threw together a site in Wealthy Affiliate, put one page of content on there, and then let it MARINATE in Google.  Two weeks later, it was ranked #5 overall.

Now although these are not #1 overall, they are rankings that many people would pay for.  These are also sites that now carry real, tangible value.  They get traffic (approximately 100 clicks per month on average each), and if I spent some time, I could easily generate some revenue from that.

I could also build on the traffic by writing and submitting a few relevant articles to StreetArticles.com or another authoring site.  I could optimize my blog….

I am not going to get into the marketing side of things, I purely wanted to prove the benefit of buying domains with keywords…and the instant value that can be realized by throwing a quick website up on them.

Free Websites, a Thing of the Past

Yeah, cool….click a few buttons, choose a template, drag and drop a few things around, and BAM, you have a website.

Weebly, Blogger and WordPress are among the best free website builders out there.  Here is what a website would look like that is created on these free website services:

http://yoursite.weebly.com

http://yoursite.blogspot.com

http://yoursite.wordpress.com

The fact you can build a website is great.  However, the fact that you don’t own this website and have very limited control of it, can present a bit of a problem.

Here is a just a quick list I put together of some major problems that CAN exist when you build a blog on another domain….

(1) It is very difficult to get ranked
(2) You have very little control of the ways you can optimize your site
(3) Any “free site” is a poor way of branding yourself as a business.
(4) These top level domains are riddled with poor content, hurting your own “free” site

The one positive, it is FREE.

In saying this though, the costs of building a site have come way down over the years.  Space is cheap, bandwidth is cheap, and owning your own domain is a very small investment (about $10 per year).

Businesses and individuals no longer have to pay $1,000’s to put together a site nor do they need to be a “techie” to accomplish putting a site together.

Websites are now cheap, and in my opinion, a required aspect if you are looking to build any sort of business online.  And this leads directly into my next discussion, site value.

How do you calculate the value of a Website?

If you are using a free site, you may be able to sell access to it based on a percentage of the revenue.  The “value” model may look something like this:

Your sites earnings x 3 months

However, people will still be reluctant to buy a “free” site because you really are not the owner of it.  It guess I would say that it is similar to subletting a home that you are renting for more than you are renting it for.  You don’t really own it, but there is a slight chance you will be able to profit from it.

Whereas if you own your own website, people are much more willing to pay not only for the revenue, but the work you have invested in setting it up, building content, and getting rankings.

Even if your site is earning $0, it is still worth something and can be easily flipped at places like Flippa.com or the SitePoint.com Marketplace (which I will explain shortly)

We are also in a day where we are seeing high valuations for websites with large user base or high earnings.  Facebook is a pretty extreme example but it has been valued at 50 times its yearly earnings.  A typical established website will typically fetch 3-7 times its yearly earnings.

So if you had a site that was generating you $100 per month in positive income on a consistent basis, your valuation may look something like this:

$100 x 12 x 3 = $3600

One thing that we all need to remember….

A domain is a $7 investment. SEVEN BUCKS!

There are now services available like WordPress Express that allow you to throw together as many sites as you’d like, and it only takes a few minutes to set-up a site.  It is like being able to build a new house whenever you like, for $7.

Online real estate is very similar to plots of land in a way.  They are not making more “desirable” land in the same way as they are not making any more .com domains.   Once you buy it, the domain is yours and it will only go up in value.

Buying, holding, and selling domains is a huge business opportunity.

Two and Three Word Domains Bringing in the Cake

Historically, top level domains (.com) that were one word were the only ones fetching the large sums of money on domain auctioning sites.  However, we are in a new age.  Domains are in limited supply, thus two and three word domains are gaining more and more value.

My prediction…

In 2015, quality 4 word domains will be hard to find.  The marketplace for 3 word domains is going to be depleted and people are going to be paying lots of money for 3 word domains and the buying frenzy is going to push many of the 4 and 5 word URL’s out of the market.

Here are some recent examples of sites that have sold for good money:

Undergraduate.com sold on SEDO for $22,000
iVideos.com sold on AternicDLS for $16,800
Cacao.org sold on MediaOptions for $15,000
Misjuegosdebobesponja.com (huh?) sold on Sedo for $14,000

Domains without a website are earning people considerable amounts of money.   What a lot of people domaineers do is throw up a simple wordpress site and let it marinate… meanwhile Google and other search engines will see it, rank it, and it will further increase the value of the domain.

Want some examples?

Here are some “websites” that recently sold on Flippa:

www.realestatesuccess.com sold for $12,000
techspott.com sold for $2,500
onlygirlsgames.com sold for $16,000

OK, these sites are somewhat established.  Some of them don’t earn revenue, but some of them have a decent monthly revenue.  Maybe a fair-upside investment for the buyer.

What about those sites I mentioned that simply have been set-up and are “marinating” with a couple pages of content.  Here is an example site that just sold for a good penny:

www.auditionofthedayclassifieds.net sold for $2,500  ($0 revenue, created in Feb 2011)

What about mobile?  Is this going to have a negative impact on website ownership?

Yes and no.

Think of the way people search.  Think of the way people will search a few years from now.

People are always going to be hungry for information.  Information is going to always be delivered via websites, the only thing that may be different, is the way it is presented.

If anything, websites are heading in the direction of becoming “longer tailed”…meaning that the more niche and targeted the site is, the more relevance it is going to have.

The older generation for the most part still search regularly, even if it is from their smart phones.   If someone is looking for a solution to their problem, then they are going to do a quick search in Google.

Data aggregating services may have an adverse impact in terms of people looking for news, but for people looking for a solution to their problem or looking to find something quickly (rather than it fall on their lap) they are going to continue using search platforms in one way or another.

And websites are not going anywhere.  If anything, there is going to be an explosion of new traffic from developing countries and people without Internet in first world countries are going to continue to become more active users.

People are more connected than ever and INTERNET traffic is continuing to grow exponentially.  Instead of people searching solely from their laptop or house, they are now searching via their tablet computer, the e-book reader, or their smartphone (or all of them).

People are also making more and more purchases via these devices.  All advantageous for website owners.

Benefits of having your own website…

Outside of the “real estate” value that domain names have (and are only going to continue to appreciate),

having a domain is going to allow many advantages over not having a domain at all or utilizing a free website service.

There are FIVE major advantages to becoming a website owner:

(1) The power of self SEO – When you have your own website you have the ability to benefit from your search engine marketing efforts.  This can include getting relevant back-links, writing relevant content, implementing ongoing dialogue via your visitors, and incurring social status and rankings.  This is much more difficult to do if you are piggy-backing a free site as you are typically a sub-domain of the larger site which has likely been penalized in one way or another because of associated (other user) sites that have been doing erroneous SEO activities.

(2) Building your brand, building your purpose – A website is a brand.  Once you create a brand, people will share your site, talk about your site, remember your site, and frequently visit it.  Branding is powerful in any business, regardless of whether or not you are an affiliate based business, offline business, or offer your own online service.

(3) Improved analysis and testing - Analyzing website data and metrics can lead to improvements in the user experience and ultimately website revenue.  By having full control over the website technologies you can use, it is very simple for you to incorporate various types of split testing, and services like Google Analytics which provide full data reporting.

(4) Integration and “shareability” of your website content –  Like, Tweet, Share, and now Google +1.  These are all social aspects that the search engines are now taking into consideration and can help improve your rankings.  It is very easy to integrate these into your own website and can drastically increase the traffic and search engine visibility that you get.

(5) Ability to become a “source” - The  more value you provide on your site, the greater respect you will earn as a “source” of information within than niche.  A website creates that sense of legitimacy that visitors need to respect you as a subject matter expert.  Provide regular quality content, and before you know it you will have a following.

As your website grows, so does your website value.  One of the most critical aspects of any web success is traffic.  Everything surrounds traffic, like an offline business, if you have no feet walking past your “space”, you have no revenue potential.

A high traffic website will also be worth significantly more.

So…

What is the best way to get traffic?  What is the quickest way to get it for free?

Utilizing StreetArticles.com to Increase your Domain Value

Street Articles is the latest “content authoring” spot on the Internet and is the latest brainchild by Carson and street articles - article directorymyself.   Although at first glance, it may appear as just another place to put your articles, it is well on its way to becoming more than that.

Our goal with SA is to provide authors that write “quality” content a place to submit their unique articles and to quickly be rewarded for their hard work.  It is also a place that you can build your brand, your following, your online credibility, and engage people in conversation.  This will lead to your content getting shared, talked about, and increase traffic to your website.

It is a nice addition and very complimentary to writing on your website or blog.

Here are some reasons why YOU need to pay attention to what is going on at Street Articles and how it can benefit your business:

(1) Get a following – the following will continually be visiting your profile, your articles and ultimately your items

(2) Traffic generation - Article traffic will generate you website revenue and inflate the value of your site.  For example, I currently have 56 articles within my account and have over 30,000 article views in the last 2.5 months.  Pretty powerful for a limited amount of work.  This traffic comes solely through search engine rankings and people sharing my articles.   I could expect to pay close to $15,000 for this traffic if I was using PPC.

(3) Your work will be shared – This means your social value increased, and your voice will become a greater leveraging point.  I have many articles that have shared in total 50+ times without a lot of effort (other than offering value to the reader).  Quality content is king…and quality content gets shared in our social Internet age we are living in.  Street Articles will continue to stay on top of the social trends and continue to provide features that benefit article shareability.

(4) Inbound links to your website (from author bio and right within your articles) – These will improve your website rankings.  Relevant content leading to another relevant page counts as a quality back-link.   Although not as critical as they once were, these can definitely make the difference between 1st page and 2nd page rankings.

(5) 15 Minute Rankings - If you want to take advantage of a timely news event or you simply want to get your articles indexed and ranked quickly, you can count on StreetArticles.com.  You will typically find your site gets ranked within 15 minutes of approval, with our personal moderation being very quick.

(6) It is FREE. If you want to get your free StreetArticles.com account, you can do so here.  See for yourself.  Test a few articles and compare your results to other directories here.

Utilizing content authoring sites like ours to drive additional, free flowing traffic to your site will only increase the value of it.  Traffic leads to revenue, revenue leads to higher “domain real estate value”.

These are my current thoughts on the domain industry.   In my opinion, it is not going anywhere anytime soon.  You may agree.  You may disagree.  Either way, I would love to hear your feedback and your own personal insights or story into this topic.

Cheers,

Kyle

Kyle
Member of WealthyAffiliate.com
Author at StreetArticles.com

PS. You can now follow us on twitter at:

@kyleandcarson
@streetarticles

How to Make Money With Your WordPress Blog

OK, as many of you may already be closely aware of, we have recently launched a new WordPress site creator called WordPress Express.Make Money With WordPress

This system has quickly become the “tool to have” within the Internet marketing world.  You can literally create sites like this one….

http://craftycontent.com

In the snap of the fingers.  Less than 40 seconds for the actual creation, another hour for the content.  Anyways, enough about that…

Today I want to talk about how to make money with your WordPress blog.  Unless you are a pure hobbyist, creating content without a plan to generate revenue form it is senseless.  With your WordPress blogs, this should be no different.  Making money should always be one of the primary considerations.

In order to make money with your wordpress blog, you need to consider the main factors which lead to success:

(1) A blog people want to read
(2) Relevant and Unique Content
(3) A way to make money from your traffic

Below I am going to explain these items in more detail…and when you are done reading, you are going to know exactly how your WordPress sites can lead to a solid make money venture.

How to Make Money With WordPress: Don’t be boring!

There is nothing worse than reading lame content.  People tend to like reading things as though you are having a conversation with them.  This is what is known as “conversational speak”.  For example, the way I am talking to you right now is much more engaging than if I were to refer to you in technical terms.

Lame speak:

“People online make money with their WordPress blogs by an affiliate program that matches their content.”

Conversational speak:

“If you really want to make some money with your WordPress blogs, you need to consider who your customer is.  For example, say I am “Joe Blow” looking for a solution to get rid of a mole on my forehead.  What sort of program would I be looking for?  What sort of products will remove a mole and is there anything that is natural that can cover this up without me having to consider surgery?

Answer your potential customers’ questions or they will mozy along to a site that does.”

Write interesting content and people will actually read it.  If people want to read a technical definition of something they will go to Wikipedia.   Help people understand stuff and relate to things by talking to them as though you would your mom or your best friend.

How to Make Money With WordPress: Writing Should be FUN, relevant and unique!

People tend to have such a tough time “writing”.

Here is the common stuff I hear every day:

“I suck at writing Kyle”.

“I don’t speak English well enough to write something good that people will like”.

“Kyle, I don’t know what the heck to write about.”

None of these are good excuses…well I guess they are OK ones, but I have never been a fan of excuses with the pure purpose of procrastination.

Here are my answers:

I suck at writing. No you don’t.  If you can write on your friend’s FaceBook wall or you can text your boyfriend, you have enough skills to write something.  The key is choosing something that you are interested in and the rest will come naturally.  Choose something you are passionate about on your WordPress blog and the writing will become easy.

I don’t speak English well. Yes, you do.  Whenever I get people telling me this, they go on to explain in 5 well written paragraphs how they don’t know English!  It is almost comical.  If you can write to me telling me you don’t know English well enough, then you DO KNOW ENGLISH WELL ENOUGH.  You only get better at a language by practicing! You only get better at writing by practicing!

What the heck to I write about? What I recommend is that you create yourself a list of at least 25 topics that you can write about.  This will be the starting point of your blog and your first set of posts and articles.  It may sound like a lot of work, but if you create 1 or 2 blog posts per day, you could have 25 pages or posts up in a matter of ONE month!

Here is an example list of 17 topics if you were going to create a blog about….hmmm….Raw Food Diets.

Potential Posts/Pages:

  • Raw food festival
  • Raw food health expo
  • best raw food diets
  • is eating raw foods safe
  • spring vegetable raw foods
  • find raw food retreat
  • raw food diet results
  • raw food diet plan
  • eating raw nuts & seeds
  • the benefits of eating raw vegetables
  • healing benefits of raw foods
  • what color vegetables should i eat
  • what is a raw food diet
  • how to get fat from vegetables
  • lose weight eating raw foods
  • best vegetables for protein
  • raw food diet recipes

How did I come up with these topics.  Simple.  I first got a small list of ideas by going into Google and typed in “raw food diets”.  I browsed the web, the news, and the blogs to come up with some ideas.

Web: http://www.google.com
News: http://news.google.com/
Blogs: http://blogsearch.google.com

And I used a Q & A site, Wikihow:

http://www.wikihow.com

Then I plugged in some of these “themes” into the keyword tool at WA.

https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/tools/kw_research_home (have to be a member to access)

If you are not a member of WA, you can use the Google keyword tool:

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

Expand upon these topics and get some more ideas.  Also, if you are interested in a topic or a niche, you should spend some time doing some “involved” reading.  It will enhance your writing, your connection with your audience, and also give you a ton of blog post/page ideas.

There are ways to turn your content into huge amounts of traffic through SEO practices, but I am not going to explain that here.  Reason being, I just created a 15 lesson tutorial at Wealthy Affiliate explaining all of this!

How to Make Money With WordPress: Making Money From Your Traffic

The most effective ways to earn a significant amount of money from your WordPress traffic are:

(1) Affiliate Programs

There are many types of commission structured affiliate programs, but amongst the top are are Cost Per Sale and Cost Per Acquisition.  The most common is CPS which is usually commission % based, which includes networks like:

But there are also many networks know that pay per action.  For example an action could be someone filling out a form, taking advantage of a free offer, or filling out a survey.  Many affiliates are making a ton of money with both styles of affiliate programs, leveraging their WordPress blogs to do so.

I recommend that if you aren’t already part of them, you seek out these top networks for affiliate programs that are relevant to your “niche”.  Many pay very well and will be a nice inclusion on your WP blog posts.

(2) Google Adsense and Content Networks

Adding Google Adsense or adding ads from other ad networks to your blog can be a great way to earn money.  If someone clicks on the ads that are displayed on your page, you earn money.   We recommend using Adsense for this, but there are other ad networks that work well.  They include:

(3) Selling your own STUFF

There are many ways that you can sell your own products and services (or info) online.  If you have tangible products or used goods, you can use the following to sell them:

http://ebay.com
http://paypal.com

There are built-in plugins in WordPress that allow you to easily incorporate your eBay listings into your blog or to add a Paypal Payment feature on your blog.

Say you have a bunch of info on something and you think others would find it valuable and pay for it.  Maybe you know a lot about golf, maybe you know how to get rid of acne naturally…people pay for this stuff.  Create a PDF, and then put it on the Clickbank network as a merchant.

http://www.clickbank.com/sell_products.html

You can then turn your blog into a sales page and store for your product!

————————————-

These are just a few ideas of ways you can make money from your WordPress blog.  It all starts by knowing how to write interesting content.  Then it comes down to being able to come up with more unique content to write.  Then you need to offer something on your site that earns you money.

Again, I have just created a 15 lesson tutorial on “how to make money with WordPress” within WA on this, so if you are a member already, get access to this by logging in.  There is a link right on the dashboard.

For those of you that aren’t members yet and want to earn money online, I invite you to join us at Wealthy Affiliate.  We would love to work with you and help you achieve your goals.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Kyle
Wealthy Affiliate
www.wealthyaffiliate.com