Are You Developing Your Domains? Why You Need More Than PPC To Really Make Money!

Let me take you back in time to 2008 – I was developing my domains like a maniac – for monetization I used PPC. My domains were making money and traffic was growing every day thanks to good SEO. By the end of the year I started to notice my revenue decline…but I was getting the same number of clicks. What was happening? PPC payouts dropped and they have never been the same.

It was at that moment that I realized that relying on PPC meant losing control of my revenue. Imagine working in the sales department for a company – you’re making $120,000/year and life is good, then suddenly out of the blue you start making $60,000/year. No conversation about your performance, no warning, just half the money – welcome to the world of PPC.

What I realized was a very important concept – monetizing my traffic through PPC was like selling my traffic for a wholesale price. At that moment I knew I had to branch-out and that decision has made my business what it is today.

I started experimenting with Affiliate Programs – trying different ads, changing the location and size of the ads, etc. I quickly found-out that my revenue was starting to climb back up and before I knew it over 50% of my revenue was coming from Affiliate Programs! In 2009 we shifted our focus from PPC to Affiliate Marketing, in 2010 I added Lead Generation to my legal, finance, and credit-related sites.

I am always looking for new ways to generate more revenue with my sites because I know that my traffic is more valuable to some people than to others. Using PPC I can sell my traffic at a wholesale price, with Affiliate Marketing I can sell the traffic at retail and with Lead Generation I can sell the traffic at a premium price!

So now, let me ask you – “Do you rely on PPC for your revenue?”

If you do then isn’t it time you stop selling your traffic wholesale? Expand your monetization options and get the revenue you deserve!

In case you can’t tell I’m pretty passionate about this topic. It changed my business and I can’t stress it enough so always want to keep this message strong on my blog. I look forward to bringing you coverage from more Domaining and Affiliate Marketing conferences!

As always my blog is an open forum, good or bad – share your opinion and let your voice be heard!

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Ace April 21, 2010, 3:01 pm

    “It was at that moment that I realized that relying on PPC meant losing control of my revenue. Imagine working in the sales department for a company – you’re making $120,000/year and life is good, then suddenly out of the blue you start making $60,000/year. No conversation about your performance, no warning, just half the money – welcome to the world of PPC.”

    Very compelling argument.

    Reply
  • George Pickering April 21, 2010, 3:07 pm

    Less than 5% of our total revenue comes from PPC. 60-65% from lead generation. 45-50% from total ad sales.

    Reply
  • Morgan April 21, 2010, 3:09 pm

    Thanks @Ace!

    @George – Excellent! Great to hear and definitely the best way to maximize your revenue!

    Reply
  • Michael April 21, 2010, 3:25 pm

    Just FYI, relying on anyone other than yourself means you don’t have control over your revenues. Just like PPC payouts dropped, affiliate payouts could as well. It is less likely because advertisers are usually only paying when they make money, but the affiliate marketplace could start taking a bigger cut.

    The best way to take control over your revenue is to sell banner space directly to advertisers. It takes more leg work, but is definitely worth it in the long-run.

    Nice post.

    Reply
  • Leonard Britt April 21, 2010, 3:38 pm

    PPC often yields meager revenue relative to the effort one puts into development. Domainers who are starting to develop their domains would probably find useful resources on how to implement a lead generation program.

    Reply
  • Morgan April 21, 2010, 4:50 pm

    Thanks @Michael – you bring-up a good point! Luckily with affiliate revenue if a particular advertisers drops their commission rate you can just promote a different product…with PPC you’re stuck with the ads that Google feeds you 🙂

    Reply
  • Michael April 21, 2010, 5:01 pm

    Well, actually there’s a trick I’ve been thinking of trying. It should work if you’re using AdSense, not sure if you can do it on Yahoo or Bing.

    In AdSense, go to AdSense Setup >> Competitive Ad Filter. Now, what do we know about how AdWords works? We know the higher you bid, the higher you show up in the sponsored results. Thus it would be safe to say that sites showing up low in the sponsored results are the ones getting you crappy RPC.

    So do a search in Google on the keywords your site/page focuses on, see which sites show up very low in the sponsored results, and block them from showing up on your site in the competitive ad filter.

    Reply
  • Jim April 22, 2010, 5:53 am

    @Michael – That is ridiculously simple and genius in equal measure. Why hadn’t I thought of that?

    Ultimately though I think I will do some lead gen investigation and implement it on a few of my sites. From a business perspective, whether PPC works for you or not, it makes a whole lot of sense to diversify. Personally, Adsense/PPC revenue is just too inconsistent, I hate loggin into my stats account to see all these Adsense exit links only to log in to Adsense and see that they haven’t actually yielded any revenue. Incredibly frustrating!

    Reply

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