Epik, The Most Comprehensive Registrar Around

Jan. 23

Over the years, I have written a multitude of posts here on PPC Ian about Epik. The most popular ones have been my introduction to my Personal Epik Product Portal Websites, my Epik Product Portal Development Tips, and of course my special Epik Product Portal Tips and Coupon Code. I’m a big fan of Epik, a big developer on the Epik Product Portal Platform (I now own 60 Product Portals), and am now officially on Epik’s Board of Advisors (check out my bio on the Epik Team page). I couldn’t be more thrilled when it comes to everything Epik and today I’m excited to give an overview of some new stuff going on at Epik that you’re sure to love.

Epik Is Now A Full Service Registrar

In July, 2011 Epik acquired its very own registrar, IntrustDomains. You can read all about Epik’s acquisition in this post on the Epik blog. Long story short, the acquisition on Intrust completed Epik’s dream of becoming the most comprehensive domain asset management platform on the Internet. We’re talking about the whole domain name lifecycle here: Acquire, build, manage, and divest. Epik is my registrar of choice and next I will show you how I’m leveraging Epik every single day to manage my domain/website portfolio.

All Domains From All Accounts In One Place

Check out the screenshot below, this is what it looks like when I log into my registrar account at Epik. You’ll quickly notice that there’s a world of functionality at your fingertips (I’ll get into that a bit later). First, however, I wanted to underscore an amazing feature that is really helping me out: Epik displays all of my domain names from all of my registrars. I’m able to manage all of my GoDaddy, Moniker, and Epik domains in one convenient location. Recently, I did a quick sort by expiration date and noticed that I had a good 30 domains at Moniker expiring in February. Last night, I leveraged this intelligence and logged into my Moniker account to renew all of the domains. Also, I noticed that I have a few GoDaddy domains expiring on the horizon and will take care of those shortly.

Epik My Domains

A World of Functionality At Your Fingertips

Epik makes my life easy. The screenshot below illustrates the menu that appears when I hover over a domain click the “manage” button on the main control panel (previous screenshot). Whether I’m looking to update whois info (such as toggling between public/private registration), forward a domain name, transfer domains in/out of my Epik account, renew domains, organize my portfolio, or virtually anything else I want to do, it’s all in one convenient location. Even better: I can select multiple domains at once and manage them in one bulk update. In short, Epik is one of the most user friendly registrars around. Even better, domain registration fees at Epik are cheap ($10/year) and you get all of this amazing functionality (including domain privacy and domain forwarding, if you want it) for free.

Epik Domain Services

An Amazing Selection of Development Options

In the screenshot below, you can see Epik’s suite of domain development packages. I personally developed 60 of my own domains on Epik’s Product Portal Platform. However, you can quickly see that Epik offers much more than Product Portals. I’m talking about lightening fast web hosting (several different hosting packages), SiteBuilder, LeadGen Portals, Recipe Portals, and Video Portals. When it comes to making money online, Epik has you covered!

Epik Platforms

Offer Your Domains and Websites For Sale

Looking back at the first screenshot in this account, you can see that all of my domains have an “on sale” price tag next to them. I have listed many of my domains and websites for sale on the Epik Marketplace. I’m in the domain game to make money. Most of my money comes via passive income from developed websites and I’m holding onto most sites for the long term. That said, I’m definitely exploring the idea of selling domains and websites in 2012. If I’m able to earn cash by selling virtual assets, I can funnel those earnings into other passive income instruments (dividend-paying stocks or even the development of more websites). Epik owns over 20,000 domains in their own portfolio so they know all about selling domains. Leverage their expertise and platform to sell your domains/websites today.

Sell Your Domain

So, there you have it, the most comprehensive registrar around! The crazy thing: I barely scratched the surface of the Epik platform with this post. If you’re looking to acquire, build, manage, and divest domain names, Epik has the entire lifecycle covered. Open your account at Epik today!

Images in this post © Epik and PPCIan.com

My Amazing 24% Epik Product Portal Dividend Yield

Jul. 28

Recently, I wrote about how my Epik affiliate earnings are up (quite a bit). That post generated a lot of interest in the Epik platform and I quickly got the question: Ian, how much are you making with Epik? Can you share your earnings like you did for eBay and Commission Junction? Today, I thought I’d follow up on my previous post and answer this question with real numbers!

I’m Earning $3,544/Year On My $15,000 Investment (24% Yield)

Stereo Amplifiers

I own 55 Epik Product Portal websites. Most of these product portals are brand new websites. They’re domains I’ve acquired within the last few years that I decided to develop on the Epik platform. Others are websites I acquired from Epik (such as Stereo Amplifiers, portrayed to the right). All of my Product Portals have custom articles (2 per site) and most have custom header blurbs too (on each sub-section of the site). I spent a ton of time and money building the best content possible because it’s all about user experience at the end of the day. I’m building quality sites that truly benefit the Internet and always recommend over-investing in great content. Between domain registration fees, development fees, acquisition fees, and article outsourcing fees, my total cost is $15,000.

Now, let’s look at the revenue side of things. Here are my earnings over the last four weeks:

  • 6/29-7/4: $113.09 revenue
  • 7/5-7/11: $188.63 revenue
  • 7/12-7/18: $123.14 revenue
  • 7/19-7/25: $118.88 revenue
  • TOTAL: $543.74 revenue

Now, $543.74 divided by 28 is $19.42/day. $19.42/day times 365 is $7,088 revenue/year. However, until you’re earning more with Epik, the rev share is 50/50. (You can read more about the Epik revenue share tiers here.) So, my take on the revenue is $3,544/year. As a side note: I’m very happy with Epik’s rev share model, it’s quite generous. Moreover, Epik is a true partner and without the Epik team my sites would not be where they are. The rev share is worth every dollar!

Personally, I feel that my revenue is going to come in much higher. Why? Most product shopping happens in Q4 (holiday shopping season). My earnings should jump up during that time! However, I like to be conservative in my financial modeling so let’s just say my annual revenue is $3,544 based on the last 4 week’s data. (Also, I am not factoring in my annual domain renewal fees of approximately $500 but again that should be hugely overshadowed by my holiday season earnings.) $3,544 divided by my $15,000 cost is a sweet 24% yield!

My Epik Yield Is Unparalleled In Other Investments

I’m a huge fan of cash flow and invest in all sorts of investment vehicles that offer cash flow. I’m talking about dividend-paying stocks, websites (both build from scratch and also buy established websites), and more. Very few investments return a 24% annual yield within the first year of the venture. In the stock market, even if you buy the high yielding tobacco companies or telecom companies, we’re talking about an yield in the high 5% range.

I’m not counting capital appreciation here but I’m not counting that for my Epik Product Portals either. Come to think of it, the capital appreciation with Epik Product Portals is much higher than stocks. Why? Sites like Flippa are heating up and it’s a hot market for income-producing websites right now. Just check out my last post about Zac Johnson’s eBook.

My end conclusion: Epik Product Portals are one of the best investments around. The websites are truly useful and are making the Internet a better place. I’m finding that by partnering with Epik, I’m earning extremely high yields with scale. My future includes many more Product Portals as I plan to expand my portfolio to well over 100 Product Portals over time.

Get Started For Just $224.10 With My Epik Coupon Code

Want to give it a test? Your first Product Portal will only cost you $224.10. The regular price is $249, but you get 10% off with the exclusive PPC Ian coupon (PPCIAN10). Click here to get started with Epik! Anyone else out there developing sites on Epik? I’d love to hear your experience. Want to learn even more? Below, I link to some of my other posts about Epik:

Image in this post © PPCIan.com

My Affiliate Earnings Are Up With Epik 3.0

Jul. 10

I’m a huge fan of Epik. I’ve been blogging about Epik here on PPC Ian for a while. After all, it’s my favorite web develop platform for product-oriented domains. Currently, I own 55 developed websites on the Epik platform. Today, I’m going to talk about Epik’s brand new Product Portal platform, version 3.0, and also some cool stats about my recent earnings spike! First, however, I wanted to link to my past few posts about Epik as they will provide you some great background around this sweet platform:

Epik Product Portal 3.0 Rocks

Now that you know a bit about Epik, I’d like to share some of my favorite features of Product Portal version 3.0. At the bottom of this post, you’ll see a screenshot of my Epik website Motorbike Jacket. As you can see, the site is really slick. Websites on Epik’s new platform are simply stunning. This is great from two perspectives: First, as an owner, I have serious pride of ownership. Second, my sites are converting better than ever (users love the new look and feel).

Aside from looking really great, Epik’s new platform is more SEO-optimized than ever. It’s all about content. Anyone reading PPC Ian can appreciate that. I’ve been adding quality, helpful content to my Epik Product Portals (and all my websites) from day one. As a result, search engines have rewarded me handsomely. Epik’s new platform makes it easier than ever before to add articles and place them in really prominent positions on your site. Want to learn even more? I recommend checking out Epik’s Product Portal 3.0 Announcement.

My Earnings are Up 5.6 Times

When I look at my Epik earnings from the past week (as compared to 4 weeks ago), my earnings are up 5.6 fold. Now, one reason I’m doing well is I own some seasonal domains that do well in the summer time such as Outdoor Sofas. However, the majority of my gains are due to Epik’s new platform. Not only am I getting more visitors but also my visitors are converting better than ever. Product Portal 3.0 (especially when the developer adds tons of great, custom content like myself) is very SEO-optimized.

My end conclusion: WordPress is the ideal platform for building a blog. The Epik Product Portal platform, in my opinion, is the WordPress of commerce-oriented domain names. If you’re looking to develop commerce-oriented domains, you’ve got to give Epik a try. And, don’t forget my special coupon code for 10% off your entire order (PPCIAN10).

Motorbike Jacket

Image in this post © PPCIan.com

The Best Domain Names For PPC and SEO

May. 30

I’m a huge fan of domain names and now own several hundred domains across the dot com, dot net, dot org, dot me, dot us, dot co, dot biz, and dot info extensions. I also own over 100 developed websites across these same TLDs. Domains are the real estate of the future and one of the best investments around, in my opinion. I recently got an excellent question from a PPC Ian reader, Anthony, which I paste below.

Red and Green Apples

Hello Ian,
I came by your site via a dot co article you wrote some time ago. I am in the process of deciding wether to purchase a .co or launch a site under a .info, which the article was critical off. How has you experience been with .co, have they ranked well?
Any advice would be welcome.

The post Anthony is referring to is my piece titled Dot CO Domain Names Rock. I’m thrilled to answer Anthony’s question about dot info and dot co domains in today’s post.

PPC Domain Names

The first point I want to call out here is the difference between PPC (pay per click) versus SEO (search engine optimization). If you know up front the domain will be primarily used for paid search, you will have a lot more flexibility. If you’re building a PPC only site, you can really build it on any TLD you’d like.

My main advice for paid search domains: Make sure they are keyword rich. If the keywords you’re buying are in the domain, your display URL will display bold, which in turn helps you earn a higher CTR. These days, keyword rich domains are table stakes in paid search (unless you already have a hugely recognized brand name within your industry). Of course, I always prefer an exact match dot com. Those, however, can be pricey. Quinstreet, my old employer, recently purchased CarInsurance dot com for a cool $49.7 million (domain name plus existing business). By contrast, your going to be able to pick up the same name with a dot me or dot co TLD for considerably less.

In sum: Get the best, keyword rich domain you can find for PPC. Don’t worry as much about TLD as long as it’s one of the big ones mentioned at the top of this article. Want to learn more about paid search domains? Check out my article all about PPC Domain Strategies.

Best SEO Domain Names

Let’s now look at domains for SEO (or for a hybrid PPC and SEO strategy). First and foremost, I’ve had success with all TLDs in SEO, some more than others. Of the second tier domains, dot us, dot me, and dot co are my favorites when I just can’t get the dot com dot net, or dot org (although I’m less of a dot org fan versus dot com and dot net).

There are really two point that go into this. First, I have found that search engines have a higher affinity for certain TLDs, with dot com and dot net topping the charts on Google. On Yahoo, dot com, dot net, and dot us rank the quickest and the best. You might pay more for these domains but they will rank quicker and higher, helping you recoup your investment.

Second, SEO is all about branding these days. Build a great brand and you will do quite well. Gains are exponential so I’m really focused on my top sites and recommend a single site strategy (or handful of sites strategy). I personally own over 100 active websites, but that’s because I love testing new stuff and I’m addicted to big numbers (even though this might not be the best financial decision). In my experience, it’s much easier to build a brand on a dot com or dot net domain. Therefore, if Anthony is going for an authority SEO site, I’d recommend going after a good dot com or dot net. (Side note: Check out my guide for Buying Domains on Sedo. This will come in particularly handy when buying high quality domains on the aftermarket.)

A quick distinction: While my bias is dot com, dot net, and sometimes dot us for authority SEO sites, I’m much more flexible when it comes to smaller minisites. In the case of minisites, I’d consider all the domains listed in the intro and definitely rank dot co ahead of dot info. Dot co has a ton of marketing dollars behind it and is a hot TLD right now. It screams ©commerce" and "e;commercial", making it perfect for most sites. Dot info is regarded as a cheaper domain name and has many questionable sites on it due to its ultra-cheap price for the first year on GoDaddy.

Intent of The Domain Name

I’d like to close out today with one last word of advice: Buy the TLD that most closely matches your business. Let’s say your are going to build a pure, informational site. In this case, dot info could make sense. Let’s say on the other hand, you are building a site for a non-profit organization. Of course, dot org makes the most sense. Let’s now say you are building a personal blog. In this case, dot me might be best. Last, dot us makes a ton of sense for sites that are strictly about the United States. I’ve had a ton of success with finance-oriented sites on dot us. I’m a huge fan of making sure my website strategy aligns with the true intent of the domain TLD.

As you can see, there is no clear answer since there are so many sub-questions that go into choosing the right domain name. The best news: The opportunities in domain names right now are unparalleled. My closing advice is to really think it through, but at the same time just go for it! The sooner you start, the quicker you will achieve success!

Image of red and green apples © iStockPhoto – pederk

Epik Product Portal Tips & Special PPC Ian Discount

Mar. 15

I’m just going to warn you up front, today’s post totally rocks! Not only am I going to present an exclusive Epik Product Portal SEO tip that has been working wonders on my extensive portfolio of 55 Epik sites, but I’m also going to share a special Epik Product Portal coupon code only for PPC Ian readers. That’s right, I negotiated this special coupon code with the man himself, Rob Monster (CEO of Epik), as a favor for PPC Ian readers.

I Invested $10,000+ In My Epik Product Portals

Double Picture Frames

So, first of all, what the heck are Epik Product Portals? Epik is basically the WordPress of product comparison shopping sites. It’s an amazing platform that empowers owners of high quality product domains to build out amazing websites that drive extensive value for the user while providing outstanding monetization for the domain owner. Want to learn more? Check out my post about my personal Epik Product Portal websites and then my post about my Epik Development Tips. I’m so confident in Epik that I made a substantial $10,000+ investment in my personal Epik Product Portfolio websites in 2010 and I continue to invest this year. This is my very hard earned money, on the line!

My Epik Product Portal SEO Tips

Outdoor Sofas

So, as part one of today’s post, I wanted to provide a quick and actionable SEO tip for all you Epik developers out there (and Epik developers to be). Since I own 55 Epik Product Portals, I’ve experienced the excitement of testing many different SEO strategies across my portfolio of sites. Over the last few months, a clear winning strategy has emerged and that’s the strategy I’m going to share with you today! That said, results vary and I never recommend going with just one strategy. It’s important to test, test, test and want to underscore that this is just one winning strategy and there are others out there.

First, let’s look at a brand new Epik website. When you get a brand new site developed by Epik, it comes complete with everything (and I mean everything) you need for success. In fact, these off-the-shelf sites will do very well with zero modifications. Today, however, I wanted to show some ways to supercharge your Epik sites (for exponential returns). An example of an off-the-shelf Epik site? Check out my brand new site Outdoor Sofas. Key things to note:

  • There are no articles (yet).
  • The blurbs are the same at the top of each page. Check out the homepage versus the outdoor sectional sofas page.
  • The keyword outdoor sofas in the top blurb refers to a sub-page by the same name and not the homepage, the root domain.

Now, let’s contrast that with my supercharged Epik Product Portal, Double Picture Frames. Some key things to note on my supercharged site:

  • There are two articles (and more in the pipeline). An example: double picture frames ideas. Exciting note: Epik provides amazing packages to assist with article creation. They will even upload articles (you write on your own or via their own team).
  • I link to the articles page in the blurb at the top of the homepage. Even though articles are direct linked on all pages Epik Product Portal sites, this extra link to the articles page in my homepage blurb helps search engines find (and weight) my custom, high quality articles. Remember: Content is king! Get credit for that content by linking to it.
  • I link back to the homepage with the keyword double picture frames from within my articles (but am careful to not overdo it). This helps add authority to my high quality exact match domain name and tells the search engines what my site is all about.
  • Instead of linking to a sub-page, the keyword double picture frames within my main blurb on the homepage links right back to the homepage. Like the links within the articles, this helps reinforce the exact match domain name with search engines. That said, be careful to not overdo it. It’s a balancing act.
  • I write custom blurbs for every page of my site. For example, check out my metallic picture frames page. It’s different than the homepage and is optimized for these special metallic picture frames. Within these sub-pages, I sometimes link back to the same sub-page with the topical theme of the page as anchor text. These recursive links help tell search engines what your page is all about, although I don’t use this strategy on all my sites. I vary it a bit, and don’t like to follow a fixed template all the time.

So, there you have it! I am very confident that if you employ these simple tips on your current (or soon to be) Epik sites, you will experience great returns! At the end of the day, these tips are all about adding quality content (content that users will read and enjoy is always king).

PPC Ian’s Exclusive Epik Product Portal Coupon Code (PPCIAN10)

Now, the real fun! So I’m personal friends with Rob Monster, CEO of Epik. Rob is a serial entrepreneur, business leader, and overall genius within technology. He’s someone I definitely look up to because I’m personally trying to achieve fame in the corporate world of online marketing. You would think with his background that Rob wouldn’t have time to talk to individual Epik developers. That couldn’t be further from the case! I can’t get over the fact that Rob (and his entire team) always goes above and beyond to assist individual Epik developers with their questions and ideas, even though Epik has grown into a large company.

Anyways, I asked Rob if I could get a special coupon code for you guys and I was successful. Here’s the coupon code: PPCIAN10 – Enter this coupon code when making your purchase at Epik and you’ll receive a 10% discount off your entire order. (Here’s a link to the Epik website.)

Make sure to mention that you’re a PPC Ian reader and the Epik team will give you the red carpet treatment for sure! Whether you’re a current Epik developer or a new one, I highly recommend taking advantage of this coupon code. If you’re new to Epik, why not start small? Epik Product Portals start at $249, and only $224.10 with the PPC Ian discount. As an online marketing professional, it’s my opinion that you cannot afford to miss this opportunity. Of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to post them here on PPC Ian! I’m looking forward to some Epik discussion.

All images in this post © IJL Productions LLC