It’s generally a bad idea to put the cart of domains before the horse (The foundation). You first need to identify the type of horse (Foundation) you need to pull your cart full of domain investments. While not all horses (Foundations) are strong enough to pull a full cart of domains, you can opt for a mule (Targeted Niche). Mules are strong, durable, and even though they have lazy moments, they still get the job done building up a foundation.
Initial Domain Investments
If you’ve already been reading my articles and following our journal, you’ll know that I always advise investors to pick a niche they are already familiar with when first starting out. Developing a portfolio is simply an extension to that thought process. It becomes pretty clear after researching common business practices that higher conversion rates come from those who specialize in something and are not scattered all over the place.
This is where your niche domain selection is vital. Take a moment to read some of my other Domain industry Articles regarding domain investing and breaking down niches to get a better feel for what I’m talking about here.
It’s no big secret that every successful business has a good brand identity. Domain investing is no different, it’s a business model as well. When considering your brand identity, it’s important that you don’t infringe on anyone elses brand. It’s going to take you some time to research your competitors and their brands to ensure yours is unique.
If you already have a solid branding/design skillset, you can use your favorite design software to create your brand yourself. If not, or you just don’t have the time in your busy schedule to research and create your brand, you can always hire a professional designer/brand manager to assist you. It just so happens that we offer that service at Scorpion Agency. Check out our design and branding services.
Domain Portfolio Software
Once you have your niche picked out and you’ve invested in a few niche domains it’s time to start your domain portfolio. There are a few different portfolio scripts out there that many domain investors like to use, however, they don’t really provide the added features needed to optimize your efforts.
Personally, I like to suggest using WordPress. It’s very flexible with lots of plugins/add-ons that allow you to accomplish just about anything you need for your business model. Best of all, it’s free!
It’s not enough in today’s world to simply slap up a list of domains with buy now/make offer options. The domain industry is saturated with so many of these lists that it devalues the sources. Because of this, it’s essential that you provide a complementing service targeted at the niche you selected. This service will aid in establishing you as an expert in your niche, as well as provide you with an additional revenue stream to help cover your domain renewal costs.
How do I know what service to provide? – This is a great question! The answer will be different for everyone, however, I’ll provide an example to help you flow in the right direction.
Example: Let’s say that you come from an extensive coffee background. Most your career has been working in or managing a coffee shop. This would not only be the ideal niche to start with investing and to have branded, your knowledge of the target market will assist you in flawlessly creating educational content and service options.
Below are just a few service options that come to mind:
- Coffee shop (start-up) consulting.
- Coffee related article writing services.
- Barista customer service or management training services.
- Coffee shop brand management.
- Coffee shop/eCommerce web site development.
- Coffee shop/eCommerce webmaster services.
- SEO/SEM services targeted at the coffee industry
- Coffee industry domains/brands.
The above are just a few ideas off the top of my head. There’s hundreds more out there to be discovered as you grow your business.
Domain Landing Pages
While many people opt for parking their domains in hopes to make a few bucks until they sell, it’s not really that practical of a solution for domains that were never established or are not category killer one words. If there’s no traffic, there’s no parking revenue. So, instead of finding that out the hard way, create some custom landing pages of your own for your new niche domains in your portfolio.
Your landing pages should consist of (At a minimum):
- The Domain Name.
- A Buy Now/Make offer option.
- A unique logo/brand to showcase the domain as a real world asset.
- A short business development tip explaining the benefits of owning the brand/domain.
- An upsell that mentions one or more of your other services.
- A reference to educational content a potential buyer can learn more from.
Educational Niche Content
That’s right, you should have an article/blog section where you write about the niche industry and provide tips to potential customers/investors on the best practices, development, security solutions, getting started with their website business, etc.. Keep in mind that it’s vital all the articles are on-topic and targeted for that specific niche you built your business on.
What does this accomplish for me?
Another great question! It accomplishes the following:
- Educates the consumer
- Establishes trust in your brand
- Establishes you as an expert in your niche
- Attracts organic visitors from search engines via unique content
- Generates organic leads
- Provides an additional revenue stream if you monetize the content/site with ads
- People start linking back and refering you or your articles (Viral)
Quick Portfolio Checklist/Recap
- Choose one of the niche related domains you own to brand.
- Have a logo/brand created for it.
- Develop a portfolio/service site on that domain/brand.
- Don’t just sell niche domains on your portfolio, offer a service targeted at niche start-ups.
- Create custom landing pages for the niche domains in that niche portfolio.
- Use lots of call-to-actions on the landing page that not only provide a way to buy, but also upsells a service option and educates potential buyers.
- Create unique educational niche related content in a separate section of your portfolio and reference it to potential buyers to show them you are an expert in your niche field, which is why they should be doing business with you and not your competitors.
- Be sure you have some form of analytics set up that at a minimum, tracks where visitors are coming from, what page they exit from, and which pages are getting the most views.
- Use the above data to assist in compiling your targeted lead contact campaigns.
The list goes on, but that should be enough to get you headed in the right direction. The more a total stranger trusts you and your brand, the easier it will be to convert leads. Remember, a website generally only has 6 seconds to capture a visitor and instill trust. If this isn’t accomplished, they may never return when they leave.
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Since 1996, Eric has managed companies with 240+ employees, online communities with over 1 million members, attended numerous industry related events/conventions and has personally worked with start-ups, personalities, small mom and pop businesses, corporations, freelancers, news outlets, and a variety of domain investors one-on-one from all over the world. That equates to a lot of years behind the scenes with his fingers firmly on the pulse of multiple industries.
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