I had to throw that “not rich yet” line in the post because the more I learn about lead generation the more complex I realize it is. I have a lot of respect for people that are successful in lead generation – it’s a hard business to get-into and a whole new model when compared to PPC or Affiliate Marketing. People like Braden from Legal Brand Marketing get it and I’ve been doing my best to learn from guys like this.
There are really two ways to learn, you can do it 100% yourself, ignore all outside influences and give it a shot – that’s pretty much how I started in the industry. For development it worked as I was able to get some lucrative sites running in a much shorter period of time than I was expecting…however it took me three years to learn what I know now and my strategy is completely different and more successful because of it. So what did I do? I got social, met other Domainers and worked hard to learn from people that were successful in an area I wanted to be successful in.
Take my good friend Patrick (you probably know him as Chef Patrick), when we first met my blog had been out longer than his but nobody had heard of it and his was the talk of the town. While I thought I got it, I didn’t, but with Patrick’s help I was able to get much more engaged in social media and blogging. I’ve always been very appreciative of the help Patrick gave me, and I don’t let him forget it!
Now I’ve working hard to grow my brokerage business so I’m talking to successful domain brokers and trying to learn from some of the pros in the field. One of the most incredible things about this industry is all the great people willing to share their advice and tell you what’s worked for them. The advice I’ve received has helped me dramatically change my brokerage business and improve my liquidity.
Okay, so now to the main topic of my post – my lead generation experiments. I have been working on two lead generation sites and putting most of my focus into these and making them successful before building more lead gen sites. I always think it’s smart to get the model right and then replicate, however I think a lot of Domainers do it the other way around! Lead generation requires some serious work up-front to build-up people to sell your leads to. On one of my sites, TexasDWIAttorney.us – I am going through a person in Southern California that already has those relationships and has gone through the hard work of making those connections themselves.
For my second lead generation site, WestwoodDentists.com I have found my own buyer, my dentist! When I went to the dentist I started talking to them about how they market online. It turns-out they are working hard to expand their business and their online presence. I asked if I could provide leads for them, potential patients, would they be able to commission me on these. They were interested!
I am driving traffic to these sites through both organic search as well as paid Google AdWords. Texas DWI Attorneys is a big niche and one that I may have to go local in to really be successful. Since this is such a competitive niche it’s hard to get good data about how well my site converts without using Google Adwords to drive some targeted traffic to it. The problem is I’m still trying to master which keywords I can afford on Google based on how much I make per lead. The way I’m doing my math is:
How many visitors will it take to fill-out the form once?
I’m going to guess this is about one every one hundred people.
How much do I make per lead?
For this particular site I make $15 per lead
What is the maximum I can pay for a click?
In a niche as competitive as Texas DWI law the CPCs are high so I have to go hyper-local to get reasonable positioning. I’m just starting with AdWords on this site to supplement the organic traffic it is getting from search which is only around 1-2 people per day right now.I think once the site has a few hundred people a month coming to it I’ll really start to get some good data, and hopefully some good leads too!
I am doing some link-building with the site as well, writing articles on services like Helium as well as cross linking from some of my other properties. This is a long-haul project and I’m not looking to make a fortune overnight, my goal is to build-up a solid ranking in the search engines so I can put the business on auto-pilot.
Now for WestwoodDentists.com my website for finding dentists in Westwood California (where I live). This is a VERY small market, there are less than 200 people a month searching for dentists in Westwood. However, I was one of the people searching and I found my dentist through an ad I clicked on Google. It turned-out the site was a lead generation site that fed leads to a number of different dental offices based on location. After talking with my dentist and seeing their interested I decided I’d get started!
This is a very low potential niche but a much easier one to rank well in. I think this site makes a great testbed since I can really try to dominate the niche and learn how to make my sites even more effective. I could see myself having this site as part of a network of sites in the future all centered around a hub – a lead generation site for dentists in California, the USA, who knows! What I do know is that so many people start with the big one – they try to build a directory for dentists all over the US or in their state. I think there’s a great benefit to starting small, going hyper-local, and making sure you have the model right before going after the big fish.
Since Westwood Dentists is such a small niche in only a few weeks I’ve been able to go from a newly registered domain (I hand-registered WestwoodDentists.com) and onto the first page of both Google and Bing for Westwood Dentists.
So this is, as I said in the post title, “an experiment,” I’m still learning and if you want lead generation advice I’m probably not your guy. I know how to build great sites that rank well and monetize well. While I haven’t made much in the lead generation space I am working hard to change that – getting these two sites right is important for me. It’s about starting-out small and building upon a platform that you know works. This is what I did in 2008 and 2009 with my sites and the results far exceeded my expectations.
I think the best way to really make money in lead generation is to have a direct relationship with the lead buyer. Once I get these two sites working I’m going to put an increased focus on finding direct relationships with buyers in the variety of lead generation categories I have domains in. This is a start, it’s going to be a journey, or an adventure as I often say…and I look forward to sharing it with all of you!