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
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
Dino Vedo says
ha, i like the part where you said be mature and ethical on the domains you purchase. I guess you have to be if you work for someone, but if not, its all fair game.. :p
Profit Addiction says
I like that last paragraph Ian. I have a number of domains that I am working to build but it can be very difficult if you are not knowledgeable about the niche. I definitely recommend sticking to hobbies/interests unless you plan to outsource a bunch of the development work.
John Michael says
Great idea you have given me about buying some domain names thanks. Like you say we all know something and building a few websites then making money with AdSense and affiliates would be a good plan. Thanks again.