Why Building A Website and Making Money are Two Different Things

As more and more Domainers switch their focus from Parking to Development I’m seeing the same wrong assumption being made. The assumption is that if you buy a good domain name you can put a website on it and – viola – the traffic and revenue will start pouring in. I had phone calls with several Domainers last week that said – I built my site but I’m not making any money.

My response to this is – “What are you doing to promote your site?” and “What have you done from an SEO-side to rank well?”

In most cases the answer is, “I’m not doing anything to promote my site – I expected it to rank well right-away” and “I haven’t done much SEO because I thought having an exact-match domain would be enough to get started.”

Sorry folks but this is an approach that many have tried…and nobody is getting rich doing it. Sure, if you buy a domain with existing traffic, revenue, and rankings you might be okay – but in most cases you’re going to have to do the hard-work yourself if you want to reap the rewards.

I find the same thing happens with people that have trouble selling their domains. I ask them, “What have you done to sell your domain,” and they usually answer, “I’ve contacted brokers like yourself and listed it on domain sales sites.”

My next question is, “How many end-users have you approached?”

The answer to this is usually, “Zero”

I get it. People want things to just happen, they want their domains to sell themselves, they want their sites to rank themselves. If the world worked this way our industry would be a lot bigger. Domaining is VERY hard work, whether you are buying/selling domains, or developing/monetizing it’s a lot of work and there really is no easy-road.

Here’s an example – this weekend I built-out three of my domains and made major improvements to a fourth. I have a team of developers in the Philippines that are building-out five sites/month for me and anything extra I can do myself is a bonus. I spent all day Saturday and Sunday working on these sites to launch them – I don’t do it every weekend but sometimes I really need to put-in the extra time.

I learned early-on that paying careful attention to SEO in the beginning can set a site up for long-term success. It’s the little things that count and having a good title tag and some well-written unique content is essential for success. It’s only when good SEO is coupled with a good domain name that search engines will start to really take notice to your site.

After your site starts to rank well you can begin to understand which ads get the most clicks and change your layout accordingly. If you aren’t taking the time to fine-tune your sites you could be missing-out on a significantly better rank. Of course you have to be careful not to go overboard or you could end-up hurting your rankings – it’s all about striking a balance…and no – it’s not easy!

When I entered the Domaining world three years ago I thought buying and selling domains was going to be easy. I was wrong.

When I entered the Development/Monetization world I knew the amount of time and hard-work it would take to make a meaningful passive income. I didn’t expect things to come easy, and they haven’t. Now I understand which niche’s monetize the best and how to better target my audience. I’ve moved away from PPC and focused much more on lead generation and affiliate marketing. In fact, one of my latest sites – TexasDWIAttorney.us is an 100% lead-gen site.

My point in this post is – development is a lot of work, just like selling domains is a lot of work! Choose which side of the industry fits you best but don’t expect either to be easy. Each year I am more convinced that while we are in one of the most high-potential industries ever, we are also in one of the most challenging industries out there. The people that are making it in the Domaining world are doing it because they are working hard, not because they are lucky.

So if you’ve just built a site and you are wondering why it isn’t ranking well and why you don’t have any visitors, ask yourself the questions below:

  1. Are your title tags optimized? This is very important for search and the most often-overlooked SEO technique.
  2. Do you have unique content on your site? Having unique content on your site, preferably articles with good keyword repetition isn’t a suggestion – it’s a necessity if you want to rank well in a popular niche.
  3. How many link-partners do you have? Use  a tool like Linkscape from SEOMoz to see how many people are linking to you. If it’s under 10 set your ranking expectations low.
  4. What is the search volume for your exact-match keywords? Domainers have an SEO advantage with exact-match domains…but this is only important if the keywords in your domain get reasonable search traffic. Use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to understand how many people are searching for your keywords – if it’s under 1,000 (exact) a month there’s not enough volume there to generate a lot of revenue.
  5. Is your website useful? Does it give users a reason to stay? Your website should contain factual information targeted towards what your visitor is looking for. Just think, would you use your site? So many people have poorly-designed websites that don’t rank well…make sure you’re not one of them!

After you’ve answered the questions above you should know why your site isn’t ranking well. If you feel that you’ve got everything in place but you still aren’t getting the rankings you deserve feel free to contact me and we can discuss more. I’m here to help and to also set realistic expectations. If you’re just sitting and waiting for traffic you’re in the same boat as all the Domainers waiting for their domains to sell.

It’s time to take-action. Find-out WHY your site isn’t ranking well, make targeted changes, and take your rightful place in the search engines. Stop complaining that your site isn’t doing as well as it should and make it perform! You are the CEO, it’s up to you, and if you believe in your idea – you can make it happen!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton