I can still remember what it said on the back of my organizer in Junior High – “If I plan to learn I must learn to plan.” These words really stuck with me and planning really plays a crucial role in the Domain Investing process.
Now planning doesn’t mean detailing every little thing you are going to do, but it does mean setting high-level goals and creating a forecast for when you will complete each step. Every investment is different so don’t hold yourself to a generic plan for each domain – be prepared to have a different process for each domain you develop. That being said – there is a general structure that I use for my investments that helps me stay on-track and make sure I’m going to be happy with the end result.
When looking at a Domain Investment I like to break-down the process into five main steps:
1) Content creation
2) Site Design
The details within each of these steps will vary from project to project but the overall plan is a good one to follow. Order does matter when it comes to developing an investment and that’s why content is the first step in the process. High-quality content is essential and should receive the most attention and detail. The content is what will define not only your search engine ranking but also how long people stay on your site. Content should always be SEO-optimized using the latest techniques and be very careful if you are outsourcing this service as there are a lot of hacks out there!
The site design is the next step and a key to your brand. Every domain investment should be a brand that stands on its own. Your site design should reflect the look and feel for your brand and should make your visitor feel like they are at a destination rather than just a quickly put-together mini-site.
Monetization is the key to converting your traffic to revenue and multiple forms of monetization is crucial. If you are only using Google Adsense then you are missing-out on a LOT of potential revenue. Amazon products, CJ ads, and ClickBank products are only a few of the other monetization options I use on my sites.
Promotion is your plan for getting the word out about your site. While submitting your site to Google, Yahoo, and Bing is important you need to reach-out to other sites and try to get backlinks. One great way to launch a new investment is to pick a blog that discusses the subject matter related to your domain and have them write a paid review. You don’t have to spend a fortune here but a little money will go a long way.
The last step and one that should be a part of your planning is updates. Fresh content goes a long way towards getting better search engine rankings and giving visitors a reason to come back. Letting your reader update content or add their own content is also a great way to encourage repeat traffic.
Now for the final piece of the puzzle. Don’t worry about accomplishing all these goals at once! If you build your site with only one form of monetization and put it in the search engines this is better than doing nothing at all! Oftentimes I am doing so many projects that I build my investments in phases releasing them to the world before they are “perfect.” If you spend your time trying to make the perfect site with each investment you may miss out on all the potential that your undeveloped domain investments have!
So once you’ve acquired the domain of your dreams don’t just dive-into the development process. Make a plan, create a timeline for each step – and don’t be afraid to layer more functionality in over time. Once you have done the process a few times you’ll get a better flow and understanding of how long each step should take. Always remember – planning is the key to developing your domain investments projects and without a plan or goals you have no metrics to evaluate the success of your investments!