Search Marketers Make Excellent Domainers

Oct. 31

What do we do in pay per click for a living? We buy keywords. We understand which keywords work the best for the vertical at hand and optimize the heck out of them. What do domainers such as Rick Latona do for a living? They invest in quality domain names. They buy great domains names at low prices and sell them for higher prices. Sometimes, they’ll build out a site before selling the domain and the site (you can think of this as the Internet’s equivalent of flipping a house). I’m here today to make the point that all pay per clickers should spend a portion of their personal time investing in domain names. You can think of it as yet another perk of our great industry!

My Personal Story: How My PPC-Driven Domain Portfolio Got Started

3d Internet Domain Concept

At my first two jobs, I spent a very significant time managing some of the largest pay per click search engine marketing mortgage campaigns on the Internet. Having managing millions of dollars of PPC spend in the mortgage industry, with a focus on mortgage refinance, I became quite the expert on the industry.

As someone who’s always interesting in learning about new niches within online marketing, I became very interested in domaining right around the same time. Putting my two passions together, my strategy became very apparent: Why not leverage my deep understanding of the mortgage industry, pay per click, and keywords in general to pick up some great domain names? While my intent was to pick up several mortgage names, I quickly learned just how saturated the mortgage landscape is and only ended up with one. However, I’m very excited about that one domain because it has 8,000 searches each month based on Google’s Keyword Tool which is rather significant for this competitive industry. Moreover, I registered this domain on the open market leveraging GoDaddy’s standard pricing. This initial purchase turned into an addiction and I now own a nice-sized portfolio of domain names (both undeveloped and also developed) across a multitude of industries, most you’d never guess.

It’s A Fine Line, Do The Right Thing

Before I go too far, I want to highlight the seriousness of doing the right thing and playing the game ethically. There’s a clear separation of work and your personal business. Never mix the two. Don’t even think of your personal business during work hours. It’s all about maturity and ethics. Moreover, never buy a domain name that you feel, in any remote way, is “the wrong thing.” You know what I mean, as a pay per clicker, you’re privy to some pretty serious data. Let me make it clear: I think it’s ok to leverage your understanding of a particular market and keywords in general to research domains on your free time. However, it’s completely wrong to look up actual keywords you’re buying at work on GoDaddy for the purpose of registering them as domain names in your personal portfolio. That keyword list you’re leveraging is company property and is just too specific. Moreover, please keep in mind that you absolutely cannot develop any domains in the same industry as your current employer or even past employer (usually for a period up to 5 years). All the domains I’ve developed are in very different industries than those covered by my employers. I’m serious here: Leverage your judgment and maturity to do the right thing, while also leveraging your pay per click expertise to become the next big shot in the domaining industry!

My Core Domaining Strategy

It’s actually really easy. I’ve only purchased one domain on the secondary market. It was actually more than a domain, it was an acquisition of an existing web property and domain. All of my other domains are from the primary market, meaning I paid the standard registration fee with no markup. I really like Arbel Arif’s Blog because he created “the domain game.” He finds a domain each week with 5,000 or greater monthly exact match searches on Google’s Keyword Tool, a domain tha’’s free for the taking on the primary market. Then, he gives his readers 24 hours to register the domain name. If they don’t, he’ll register it! Bringing this back to my strategy, this is exactly what I do. I search for domains in industries that I love that either have an existing strong search query base or the potential for one in the future. I try to pick industries that I enjoy thoroughly, industries where I can write 100 plus pages of great content, no sweat. The end goal: Develop all of the domains into neat content sites that drive passive income from either AdSense or affiliate programs. The domains that I don’t develop, I plan to hold and then sell for a profit.

Why You Should Be A Domainer

So that’s my strategy, but what about you? I encourage you to do the same for one main reason: You’re an expert about something that others are not. Seriously, you may think there are a lot of competitors out there, but I can assure you that’s not true when you think about it through the lens of your niche interests. Think through your hobbies and interests. If you think hard enough, you’ll find an untapped market, I’m sure of it! Because you’re in the PPC industry, you’re in a unique position to not only pick the best domain names, but also to develop awesome web properties with all the relevant keywords in the titles, meta keywords, meta descriptions, page copy, and image alt tags. Your PPC background is guaranteed to make you a great domainer and part-time web publisher. Moreover, as a recurring theme through my blog, I can’t say enough about the growth and personal learning that will come out of this exercise. This is knowledge and growth that will directly impact your ability to do a better job for your employer, the most important goal of all! Want to learn more? I have learned a world of information from Lisa’s Website.

Image of 3d Internet Domain Concept © iStockPhoto – setixela

I’m Passionate About PPC and SEM

Oct. 29

I’m very passionate about PPC. I’m very passionate about the corporate career path in pay per click. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than managing my awesome paid search team! Does this sound like you? Good! Does this sound very different from your tone and thought pattern each morning? That’s ok, but let’s work on that! This topic has been blogged about to death, but I couldn’t resist because it’s so core to my personal value. Let’s talk about passion today because I sincerely think it could get you a raise and a promotion.

Why Passion In Search Engine Marketing Counts: Your Perspective

Search On Keyboard

Let’s purely look at it through your personal lens first. What’s in it for you? Before I even get to that, let’s get one thing out of the way. I’m not a psychology major, but I know from experience that passion is at least partly up to you. Every single morning, you have the conscious decision whether you want to be passionate or dull. If you’re not currently overly passionate every morning, I’m about to show you what’s it for you if you make that conscious decision. If you already get up with enthusiasm and passion each morning, I’m about to ask you to bring it up a notch. There’s always room for more fire! I’ll show you what you’ll get out of even more passion…

First and foremost, let’s talk about happiness. It’s a fact: Passion is directly correlated to happiness. If you’re passionate about your work and purpose every single day, the day will go by much faster and you’ll have a lot more fun (with a lot more energy). At the end of the day, we all want to be happy. That’s one of the most important things in life. Pay per click search engine marketing can be daunting. Sometimes it’s hard to be passionate, especially if your numbers are trending down or if you’re under pressure from your manager (it happens to everyone and pressure can be a good thing). Every single morning, take a step back and push yourself to be passionate. Write a note if you need, seriously. I can guarantee this conscious exercise will become more and more natural over time and will result in a nice bump in your happiness and job satisfaction. It’s in your hands.

Second, let’s talk about your career path in pay per click. It’s a great industry. One of the reasons I’m so passionate about PPC as a great career is the ability to grow quickly. I’m a director of SEM only five years out of college. In a more traditional industry, it would probably take me 10 to 15 years to hit the director level. Now, let’s face reality: The quick upward mobility in pay per click can cause problems because one can’t possibly learn all of the judgment of a 10 or 15 year veteran in only 5 years. This is where passion comes to play. If you’re passionate, you’ll learn quicker. If you’re passionate, you’ll emerge as a leader. What do leaders do? They rise above the naysayers and push the team forward, even when things are difficult. If you want to become a leader and people manager within pay per click, you need to consistently demonstrate passion for the industry and also the company. You need to be more passionate than anyone else. Excessive passion alone, in my opinion, can overcome management judgment that will take a bit longer to grow through experience, success, and failure.

Why Passion Counts: Your Employer’s Perspective

This part is really easy. Employers love passionate employees. Already mentioned, passionate employees increase the morale and purpose of the overall team. The output of the team is much larger than the output of any one individual. Passion from one employee can have tremendous leverage and exponential returns from an employer’s perspective. Passion can spark new innovation on the SEM team, one of the highest leverage teams within the company.

I’ve seen it time and time again in search engine marketing. There’s high turnover because people tend to burn out. In good cases, the employee decides to transition out of pay per click but stay at the current company. In the worst case, they leave not only the pay per click team but also the company as a whole. Companies want passionate leaders who can overcome this effect and retain their team. I have an awesome track record for employee retention even at companies with overall retention issues. This is one of the main reasons I’ve been able to consistently manage and grow leading PPC teams with a good deal of authority and autonomy from my employer. Not yet managing people but want to be? Invest in your passion! Managing people, but want to grow even more and be the most successful manager possible? It’s all about the passion!

A Topic Worth Visiting Over And Over

There’s a reason it’s hard to find a business leader who hasn’t commented on passion. It really works! Whether you’re already passionate about SEM or completely lack passion, there’s room for all of us to grow. Make it your purpose each morning and you’ll have more fun, get promoted faster, and add exponential value to your company! Don’t believe me? Check out my LinkedIn profile and specifically my recommendations. You’ll see a recurring theme around my positive attitude, passion, and morale-building powers. All of this has been a conscious decision, one that you can make as well.

Image of Search on Keyboard © iStockPhoto – NickS