Two 50-Site Networks, Two TLDs – Neither of them .Com!

I’ve been working on a big development project within my company this year. I spoke about it at TRAFFIC Vancouver and thought it was time to share it with all of you. One thing I say a lot is, “I’m a slow and steady wins the race kind of guy.” I’m less interested in making one or two big sales and more interested in developing a system that will pay me for life. Some people like active income, products they have to actively sell themselves to make money – I like passive income, setting-up a system to generate income.

The important thing to realize about passive income is that it isn’t passive at all, in the beginning. First you have to actually create and optimize the system and this is a LOT of work. I’m fairly certain that’s what scares most people away from anything having to do with passive income. Who wants to spend a year building-up a few thousand dollars a month of passive income when they can make a few five-figure domains sales? I do πŸ™‚

My goal is simple – generate over $10,000/month in passive income from my domain names. What am I doing to reach this goal? I have numerous development projects going-on at once and build between 5-10 active sites every month. To date I have 150 sites build and about 80% of those are generating a consistent monthly income for my business.

This year I have two major development projects – a 50-site Credit/Debt Network, and a 50-Site Law network – and the TLDs being used are .us and .me! That’s right, I’m not a .com guy, I was too late. However you probably know by now that I’m a keyword guy and I’ve put together a great portfolio of .us and .me domains with strong search volume and a high CPC. Remember, you can geo-target a .me to Google US making the .me, .us, .com, .net, .org, etc. completely equal in the eyes of Google. My .me sites have the same chance of outranking the exact same keyword domain in a .com – I might not get the type-in traffic but when it comes to search I’m aiming for the top!

Along with building theses two networks I’ve also been working on a suite of tools. It’s still far too early to beta and I’m someone that likes to keep quiet about these things until they are fully operational so that’s all I’ll say for now.

So are you ready to see an example of some of the sites we’ve been building? The first example I’d like to share comes from the Credit/Debt Network, the site is PayOffDebt.me. As you know I’m a data guy, so here’s why I think this domain has a lot of potential:

Exact-Match Global Monthly Searches: 9,900
Exact-Match Local Monthly Searches: 6,600
CPC: $7.81

This is the exact search volume I love and know I do well in, above 1,000 and below 10,000. This means the space is big enough that my site can get a meaningful amount of visitors. With a CPC above $5.00 I usually know there is some lead-gen potential, in this case there is a LOT of lead-gen potential since the credit/debt niche is the hottest lead generation category this year!

The next site I wanted to share is from our Law network – LosAngelesDUIAttorney.me. Once again, I’m a numbers guy so here are the stats:

Exact-Match Global Monthly Searches: 2,400
Exact-Match Local Monthly Searches: 1,900
CPC: $40.24

Once again, nice search volume right in the area I know I can perform well and a CPC of $40.24 means that whether I’m having someone fill-out a lead-gen form or just click on a Google PPC ad there’s a lot of money being made with each user action.

My goal is to have all one-hundred sites built by the end of the year, I can’t do it at 5-10 sites/month which is why the new tool I’m developing should make my life much easier, and my goal attainable. Necessity is the mother of invention right?

Stay-tuned as I’ll be sharing more details and data from my big 2010 development project!

Warning – Shameless Plug! Oh, and if you like what you see and would like to have some of your domains developed-into sites like these, my company does that too! Just visit LintonInvestments.com to learn more about the development, monetization, and SEO services that we offer.

{ 24 comments… add one }

  • Greg June 30, 2010, 10:46 am

    A network of similar sites in my own past experiene will all get deindexed in about 6-9 month time frame unless they are on different ip addresses and have different registration data… beware, great idea but its been done many times, adsense account will get closed ect..
    Just my thoughts based on experience.
    One or maybe two sites developed in a niche category tops seems ok

    Reply
    • Morgan June 30, 2010, 11:12 am

      Thanks for the comment @Greg – you’re thinking of sites with duplicate content though. Each of these sites has completely unique content, custom-written by my writers here in the US.

      Google is looking for sites with unique content and useful information. I have 150 sites built none have ever been de-listed from Google.

      I do know of plenty of people that have used parking services or wordpress autoblogging sites that have been banned from Google. At the end of the day if you are just sending-out someone else’s content Google is going to find-out.

      I’m creating valuable resources online with fresh content and that’s what Google and Yahoo are looking for!

      Reply
  • Troy June 30, 2010, 11:01 am

    Good luck with that. I have yet to see a .me rank on Google. Even Missouri.me, with tons of backlinks does not rank in the top 1000 and if any site deserves to it does. I think you are going to have a very difficult time ranking your sites. Perhaps the .us will be easier, I haven’t looked into that extension as much.

    Hate to be a rain cloud here because there really is a ton of opportunity out there. Again, I hope that it works out for you. Let us know in the future if you start to see decent ranking on google.

    Reply
  • Ace June 30, 2010, 11:30 am

    @Greg

    Help me understand, if we do not violate Goggle Adsense’s TOS why should they ban you?

    Reply
  • Mojito Recipe June 30, 2010, 11:50 am

    Morgan, Can you explain what you mean by “you can geo-target a .me to Google US”?

    Reply
  • Morgan June 30, 2010, 12:04 pm

    Thanks for the question @Mojito!

    I mean using the Google Webmaster Tools to tell Google that you’d like them to consider Google US as your primary target rather than Google Montenegro as is the default for a ccTLD like .me. You can’t geo-target all ccTLDs so this is something that makes .me special and completely equal to .com when it comes to search.

    Reply
  • Michael Cromarty June 30, 2010, 12:28 pm

    Do you think it will be worth investing in .co domains then when they become available?

    Reply
  • Greg June 30, 2010, 12:47 pm

    Yes duplicate content is always an issue.
    Googs TOS is sometimes broken by to many ads on a page, traffic spikes, ect
    good intentions can lead to a ban without intentionally breaking rules aka blackhat.
    Morgans idea will work, I was just concerned when he used the word “network”. I would strongly separate the domains and sites from each other. Yahoo and bing are easy to rank and do still offer some quality traffic.

    Reply
  • Mojito Recipe June 30, 2010, 12:47 pm

    Thanks! I did not realize that was an option.

    Reply
  • Andrew Douglas June 30, 2010, 12:57 pm

    I would err on the side of .US domains personally, though it seems like yahoo has gone into an “any extension goes” mode of late so really anything ranks there. Google may rank you for specific keywords if your SEO is good, but I don’t expect them to give you much weight based on the domain name if you are trying to use .ME (and unfortunately it seems to be the same case for Google + .US).

    As a developer, I like the idea of networks. I’m working on a 50+ CityHotels(.)us network now (and yes, unique content is key!) and several smaller “networks” of anywhere from 3-15 sites using various extensions including .COM. The advantage of getting to reuse the platform, affiliate programs, etc. is very enticing, but there are certainly pitfalls.

    One thing you might want to try, as I think it would work better than 50 .ME’s in a single network, is getting just a few decent 3 and 4L.com’s (not necessarily cvcv quality, but preferably quad premium) and put up all that content you have planned for the “network” on one site. I think you’d be surprised how they rank as it seems all the search engines love short .com domains even though they don’t match the keywords. Just make sure your title tags and ‘s are good as well as decent backs links (easier when dealing with a decent 4L.com then trying to get backlinks to a .ME). You could probably get MLDC(.)com for Morgan Linton Debt Consolidation for what you paid for those 50 names for 5 years of registration and you’d have a better “investment” long term . 100 pages of content on one site will be more trusted by search engines than 5 pages on 50 sites, so your cost of development should be reduced too. If the .com is too expensive, the .org would also be good. For example: DUIA(.)org for DUI Attorneys.

    Just a thought.

    Reply
  • Greg June 30, 2010, 1:12 pm

    More on goog adsense…. having a network of sites all monetized using adsense is considered spam by the TOS… MFA type sites.
    Morgans use of fresh content may have the sites of course considered “good sites”.
    Sharing adsense code and google analytics will surely get you sites dropped if they gain any decent serps position and are all in the same category, linked together, similar in platform (CMS). Just things to watch.
    The more you make with any advertising program the more your “network” is scrutinized, so separation is key for long term success of multiple sites that may be similar.

    Reply
  • ray June 30, 2010, 2:32 pm

    good post. informative.

    questions: with all those sites 150+ built (and more on the way) …how many hosting accounts do you have? dedicated, vps or reseller? how many domains per account or what number of sites per hosting account seem to work best for google before being penalized?

    thanks.

    Reply
  • Tim Davids June 30, 2010, 4:24 pm

    Great info Greg…Andrew…and other posters. A great site on a great name still seems to trump a big network of similar names. Easier to have an exit strategy too πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Morgan June 30, 2010, 4:29 pm

      Great feedback everyone!

      I completely agree. I have a number of sites that I’m focused on just as they are – a single really great site, like Kayaking.org, ccTLDInvestors.com and this blog. I spent an inordinate amount of time each week making these the best they can be. Right now Kayaking.org is my major focus – I think it’s a great domain and I’m spending time developing, marketing, and getting great content and link partners for the site.

      As for the network – that’s a different idea and one that I want to run in parallel and not replace a great site on a great name.

      Reply
  • Ed | Htmlpress.net June 30, 2010, 6:12 pm

    Hi Morgan, i think once you finished all those sites Pareto’s law will soon kick in. You’ll probably find out that only 20% of those sites will make 80% of you income. Then maybe at that stage its just best to concentrate on marketing / growing th0se websites in the top 20%?

    Would be interested to see if how it pans out.

    Reply
    • Morgan June 30, 2010, 9:33 pm

      Thanks for the comment @Ed – Pareto’s law is absolutely true and will definitely kick-in. I’ve been doing this for three years and still 20% of my sites make 80% of my revenue. Still I keep a strict goal of trying to get each and every site to make $100/month.

      I work hard to only develop-out names I know can hit this mark. For the first two years there was a lot of learning on the monetization-side for me. Now, since I have 150 sites built I have more experience and a better understanding of what works.

      Reply
  • owen@frager.us June 30, 2010, 9:19 pm

    Can anyone confirm ever making $40 a click or even $7 a click on a MFA site?
    Those figures are based on what someone PAYS adwords to be atop of the Google page with those search terms not on a website with the same ad. Correct me if I am wrong but having been in the buyer’s shoes buying Adwords campaigns for large corporations, working directly with rep at Google, I believe this to be true and the metrics most domainers live or die by seriously flawed, except they keep the dream alive and the whole industry surrounding it thriving selling lottery tickets that will never be cashed.

    I don’t want to rain on your parade but expecting a steady stream of passive income for future years, based on behavior patterns and technology of 2010 (not to mention registration fees and Internet taxation and licensing fees which could enter the picture), has no basis in fact. Especially if you are relying on third parties to serve your ads and pay you.

    Thoughts?

    Reply
    • Morgan June 30, 2010, 9:36 pm

      @Owen – never received a $40 click, I have received some in the $3-$4 range.

      I gave-up on PPC back in the beginning of 2009. Now over 90% of my income comes from Affiliate products or Lead gen.

      PPC is dying – anyone that relies on it for their income is sure to see their revenue die with it!

      In 2009 I took everything I had built and moved it away from PPC, turns-out that was the best move I’ve ever made πŸ™‚ Still a $3-click here and there doesn’t hurt.

      Appreciate the comment – keep em’ coming!

      Reply
  • Robbie June 30, 2010, 11:54 pm

    My best PPC click from Adsense – Debt Consolidation Market Last year was Β£9 which is about – $13

    Reply
  • Anthony July 1, 2010, 2:09 am

    What Owen said πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Greg July 1, 2010, 5:08 am

    Can anyone confirm ever making $40 a click or even $7 a click on a MFA site?
    When I had an adsense account the most i ever made was $10 for a click, i did make many $1-$4 per click, my average was about .30-.60 per click.
    Again talking about the price per click is against the TOS. Probably why you won’t see a lot of sites listed for the long haul about it.
    Any site talking about it will be short lived or using another PPC advertiser, probably second tier.

    PPC is nice cause you get to see the stats and make some revenue often, affiliate revenue is less often but usually more per click. PPC you watch daily as affiliate product marketing you look at for the week or month.
    PPC depends on many metrics, i may receive twice the amount the next guy gets on average. My method would be to develop a site like Kayaking and spend a day trying to get a few advertisers for $10 per month for placing banners or text links on the site for monthly revenue up front, offer cheap deals and get guaranteed revenue. But again that is against adsense TOS. Again a few dollars may not be worth anyone’s time but if it is monthly on many sites it my add up, I don’t bother, tired of advertisers changing every month or becoming dependent upon some program, Build or invest time in your own method not promoting someone else s for the long haul.
    The best point Morgan has made is that slow and steady wins the race, Morgan makes a lot of good comments, that one sticks out.

    PPC will be changing to CPA in the near future, PPC will be paying pennies.

    About 8 years ago working for a company with a portfolio of quite a few good domains the best advice I received was to pick something clean when depending on others for revenue because all good things will end, they will muscle you out eventually, it has always rang true in different degrees.

    Just my thoughts as I seem to be the opposite here of most, I am an affiliate marketer turning domainer as most here are domainers turning to affiliate marketing.

    Reply
  • Mojito Recipe July 1, 2010, 7:27 am

    If PPC dies, Google would be in big trouble. Correct?

    Reply
  • Greg July 1, 2010, 7:33 am

    No trouble, they will continue exploring CPA and back to CPM like in the beginning

    Reply
  • Anthony July 1, 2010, 7:33 am

    Mojito Recipe … There is no need to worry about Google πŸ™‚

    Reply

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