Domaining and SEO have been around forever. But for whatever reason, they seem not to have found each other until this year. Combining the two offers the possibility of a lot bigger profits, but it also is going to require all of us (SEOs and Domainers alike) to change the way we approach the game.
The relative advantages that SEOs and Domainers each bring to the table are pretty obvious. As Brian Provost has already noted:
“…SEO’s completely house Domainers in low-scale development. Domainers completely house SEO’s on scalability, the lower level of resources required to scale, and upside on liquidity events.”
From an SEOs perspective, the key to running a successful SEO/Domaining combo company is to maintain the quality of your SEO work and combining it with the dramatic scale of domaining operations. Put simply, you gotta get big without getting crappy. As I see it, the best way to accomplish both is to automate your site development process to a degree that most SEOs haven’t in the past.
That means we SEOs need to take some, though certainly not all, of the personalization out of your development. Here’s an initial list of components to focus on automating:
A lot of SEOs want to build a custom site every single time they decide to develop. To get some scalability, however, we all need to take a page from the playbook of Domainers who have mastered the art of throwing the same annoying landing page on literally thousands of sites. I’m not saying that we need cookie cutter sites, but working from a single template (there are tons of quality freebie templates available) and simply tweaking it rather than starting anew, changes your dev schedule from 1 month to 1 day.
There are tons of good freebie code samples for just about anything you want to do. So get off your SEO high-horse, identify 5 different add-ons which you can use in combination and get some good freebie code to do it with. Custom projects for a site can take months, and if your goal is scalability you need to cut these projects and instead use a combination of pre-coded add-ons for your sites.
I’m not suggesting computer generated or scraped content, but if you’re writing your own content and are trying to scale your SEO/Domaining company, then you’re doing something wrong. There are talented full-time Indian writers available for $400 – $800 USD per month and Americans in the $25,000 to $40,000 range. So figure out what you can afford and start hiring, so that you can get some of the scale that domaining thrives on.
4. Link Building:
Free directory submissions stopped working a few years ago, and Google isn’t turning back the clock on their algorithm any time soon. That said, there is still a whole lot of quality link building at all levels that you can outsource. If you’re doing your own paid directory submissions and viral link baiting and are trying to scale, stop, train or hire someone, and start focusing on management.
Those of us that come from the SEO camp have historically succeeded by focusing on making our individual few sites perfect. But to be frank, we’ve all been content staying small-time. If we want to combine the lessons of domaining and take advantage of its scalability (and much larger potential profits) we’re all going to need to rethink development and our businesses generally with an eye towards automation and scaling.
I’ve been watching Sitepoint and occasionally Digital Point marketplaces and it seems people are having less success selling lower PR sites. Or maybe it was a fluke for June.
At any rate, after spending 3 months researching and buying a bunch of junk PR domains/ sites, I’ve come to the conclusion that you are better off saving up/ partnering and getting a PR5 or higher site than getting lots of PR3 or below for cheap. PR4s depend on the amount of content, quality and topic. The lower you go and the busier you are, the more likely you are to neglect your new sites and have them tank in PR. Which of course lends credence to what Rich is saying.
That’s a really good analogy – although I’d argue that being paid to blog is a safer strategy than trying to flip properties right now, given the state of the economy! Fresh blog posts will pretty much always be there, and new sites are always coming up as people have new business ideas and strategies.
All great points Rich, but the starting point of benchmarking these two industries against each other is dead on accurate.
I would also agree that the capability is heavily present on all 4 points.
In fact with the explosion of the paid to blog companies over the last 12-20 months, many many bloggers that are schooled in SEO are rapidly moving into the domaining camp. Some do not even realize it. Domainers often go and pick up expiring domains to test the waters with incoming traffic under that 5 day rule.
The thing is SEO types and recently SEO/Bloggers have learned that it is not difficult by a long shot to buy up a domain, follow your first two points, throw up some unique content, and hit PR4 and flip. The thing is with the paid to blog companies, bloggers can earn money on the way up the ladder from PR obscurity and zero traffic to PR 4 or 5 with traffic building. In real estate the analogy would be buying a house and getting paid to renovate it before you flip it.
Extrapolating your article above the analogy would essentially be one where you could get paid to renovate an apartment complex of domains and then flip them or develop them as you see fit.
Disclaimer– As many of you know, I own one of those pay to blog companies.