Of the different ways to make money from domain names, the cheapest way is to create an affiliate websites. However, this is also often the hardest and takes the most time. It either requires an extensive knowledge of search engine optimization techniques and/or the money to invest in PPC campaigns which could easily end up outweighing the amount of money made from the affiliate links.
With an affiliate website, you’ll first need to register a domain through any Registrar. Next, find a web host for the domain (most Registrars will also host the site for a small fee). Finally, develop an actual site, using a software package, or using an online tool, like DomainIt.com’s site-builder.
As you develop the site, look for companies selling products related to the domain you registered and sign up for their affiliate programs. You can find several affiliate programs through affiliate networks, which are sites that manage affiliate programs for companies. Two of the larger affiliate networks are ClickBank.com or CommissonJunction.com.
Once you’ve launched your website, you’ll have to start some traffic generating campaigns. Usually, this involves a mixture of search engine optimization (SEO), link building, and PPC advertising. Eventually, the traffic you get will begin to convert into real money. And perhaps, sooner or later, another domainer will show some interest in the site and give you a worthwhile bid on it.
If you’re registering a new name and have no intention of reselling it, then the extensions won’t make too big of a difference, but of course a .com name is preferable over other extensions. If you expect your traffic to come from a particular geographical area, then you may want to register the corresponding ccTLD.
The biggest factor in choosing the right domain name for an affiliate website is using the right keywords that will give you a slight advantage over other domains. The name ‘TheWriteEditor.com’ won’t help increase the page’s ranking in search engines. However, a name like ‘EditingServices.com’ might. If you want to get more local traffic, a name like ‘EditingServicesAlabama.com’ would work even better. Other TLDs would work as well, but the ccTLDs would tend only to draw country specific search engine traffic as search engines are much less likely to send traffic from the UK to a .us domain.
If you choose to buy the domain from an online auction or sale, you sometimes stand a better chance of getting initial traffic to your site. But, if the site already has a fair amount of traffic, you’re going to end up paying for it in the cost of the domain. Smart domainers know the value of traffic and won’t give up an established domain name for pennies.
As far as how much traffic a domain name already gets, you will often have to rely on the seller’s claims in their listing, which could easily lead you into a scam. One of the first places you should check is Alexa, which will give you an overview of the amount of a traffic a domain receives. Another great resource is Estibot, which gives you information on the popularity of the keywords, potential traffic, and a domain estimate.
You can also find out how many sites link to an established domain and how old those links are could be an indicator of how many visitors the site gets. Simply using Google’s advanced search can yield this information.
Do as much research as possible on a domain’s history and the domain owner before laying down any cash or divulging too much information. You’ll find more great resources for researching a domain’s history in our domain tools directory.
Another way to find great advertisers with big payouts to their affiliates is by searching the internet and asking for the advice of more experienced affiliate marketers in forums and other social networking sites. You can also check out affiliate directories such as the one at AssociatePrograms.com for potential programs to promote.
Website development is not a simple process. While there are many resources on the Internet for beginning web developers, you won’t find any sure-fire instructions for developing a great site from scratch. Unless you plan on hiring a professional, expect to spend some time and effort developing your website.
Using HTML editing software, such as Dreamweaver, can help you get started. Additionally, many web hosts offer online web-building tools, which will likely be easier for beginners than a more advanced software package like Dreamweaver.
Another option is to use a Content Management System (CMS) like Word Press. It’s a little more difficult to set up than a basic HTML page, but it’s much easier to add and change content with a CMS than it is with an HTML editor.
There’s an entire industry set up around website promotion. It involves optimizing your website to make it more ‘likable’ to search engines, obtaining inbound links to the site from other websites, and paid advertisements (PPC ads) on other sites and search engines.
The fastest way to get traffic, though it can be expensive, is from PPC campaigns, but you have to be careful about the keywords you use to draw traffic and the amount of money you pay for clicks. It’s easy to end up paying more for the clicks than the money you make from the advertisers. In other words, your clicks can outweigh your sales.
While SEO tactics are much cheaper, they’re also much more focused on long term results and take a longer time to realize profits. Another problem comes from the search engines themselves, which are slowly learning to ‘filter out’ affiliate sites. To optimize your site and keep from getting ‘black listed’, you’ll need a fresh array of original content, links from other sites, and time (Google will usually list an older site before a new one when both sites compete for the same keywords).
The best way to promote an affiliate site is to combine the PPC and SEO strategies, making sure the long term and short term campaigns are both receiving the proper amount of attention.