It’s no secret that the domain industry is full of unlimited potential. The plus side is that it’s such a vast market, that it continuously splits into sub-markets. These sub-markets, which I like to call “Niche”, “Micro”, and “Nano” markets provide any sized company, hobbyist, or individual with a variety of potential revenue streams.
I’m not going to get into monetization in this article, but I’ll add it to my list for a future publication.
After I invested into my first domain back in 2005 and developed it into a service, I started playing with the idea of lead generation. I decided on generic keyword domains targeted at a few of my niche audiences. Below, I’m going to break down an example niche. When I crack the egg open you’ll see how all the sub-niches just ooze out everywhere.
IMPORTANT: You don’t really need a generic keyword domain to be indexed for keywords. You can take any domain and optimize it to be indexed with good SEO/SEM skills. However, to this day, I still use a few generic domains as lead generators successfully. Most of mine are Geo-domains nowadays. (Check out the article I wrote on NamePros: Geo-Domains)
Example – Generic domain niche breakdown
Primary Niche: Design
Targeted Sub-Niches: Graphic design, mascot design, logo design, business card design, vector design, raster design, creative design, interior design, web design, label design, architectural design, furniture design, clothing design, product design, template design, etc.
Targeted Micro-Niches of “logo design“: Creative logo design, freelance logo design, illustrative logo design, abstract logo design, vector logo design, raster logo design, logo design software, stock logo design, clip-art logo design, wordmark logo design, initial logo design, brandmark logo design, combination mark logo design, emblem logo design, logo design tutorial, logo design services, etc.
Targeted Sub-Micro-Niches of “Freelance Logo Design“: Freelance vector logo design, Freelance logo design software, Freelance stock logo design, Freelance clip-art logo design, Freelance wordmark logo design, Freelance initial logo design, Freelance brandmark logo design, Freelance combination mark logo design, Freelance emblem logo design, Freelance logo design tutorial, Freelance logo design services, etc.
Targeted Nano-Niches of “Freelance stock logo design“: Freelance stock logo design service, Freelance stock logo design template, Freelance stock logo design directory, Freelance stock logo design website, Freelance stock logo design downloads, Free Freelance stock logo design, Freelance adult stock logo design, etc.
Targeted Sub-Nano-Niches of “Freelance stock logo design downloads“: Freelance stock bar logo design downloads, Freelance stock restaurant logo design downloads, Freelance stock farm logo design downloads, Freelance stock animal logo design downloads, Freelance stock fishing logo design downloads, Freelance stock technology logo design downloads, Freelance stock adult logo design downloads, etc.
I’ll stop there for now. I didn’t even break it down into Geography yet (E.g. Houston Texas Freelance Stock Fishing Logo Design Downloads). My most successful lead generators are long tail Geos. The break down above also correlates with SEO/SEM (Search Engine Marketing / Search Engine Optimization), which I may write about at a later time.
Example – How I used to select my generic domains
Average Searches: Using your favorite keyword search comparison tool (I like to use Google Adwords Keyword Planner), search for all the niches, micro-niches and nano-niches. You’ll want to zero in on your favorite exact search number. Mine’s between 500 and 3,000 exact searches a month for niche site developments because not as many people will be targeting those.
Average Competition: Not all search comparison tools will have an option to compare competition, however, if you do have that option, you’ll want to stick with “Low Competition”. If you venture into medium or high competition you’ll find yourself struggling to get to the first page of search indexes. Low competition phrases can generally allow even a novice to hit page one within 30 days. This technique is great for quick targeted lead generators. Keep in mind that you can always refine your niche later to target higher competition keywords/phrases. I just like to use the quick-start method to get the ball rolling and then expand on it later.
Average CPC (Cost-Per-Click): Honestly, I don’t even use this metric because when I develop for a niche to sell something on, I don’t care what people are paying per click. My products/services/etc. are my primary focus. CPC may be a good metric for those that have no products or services. Using pay-per-click ads along with some unique and creative content can go a long way and provide you with an added income stream. I do still have a few old mini-sites running just ppc campaigns. I listed one at the bottom of the article as an example for those of you just looking for ad powered revenue.
Notes: Keep in mind that the deeper in a niche you go, the lower the competition and search queries are. However, that also means that with a long tail generic phrase (Your multi-generic word domain) visitors are 10 times more targeted and already know what they want when they arrive (Hense the very detailed search query they made), which equates to a higher conversion ratio. That’s right, less traffic and more sales.
Caution: You need to understand at least the basic fundamentals of SEO/SEM before you embark on a generic domain development journey. You can’t hit page one of a search engine with just a generic keyword domain alone. You’ll also need unique content, friendly urls, keyword density, proper image tags, proper meta tags, backlinks, and an assortment of other variables, which you can learn studying SEO/SEM. Without the fundamentals, chances are, your site will never hit page one of search indexes.
Examples of a couple long tail niche domains I developed years ago, haven’t had to touch since, and they still generate revenue every month.
San Antonio Logo & San Antonio Logo Designer – The first one is redirected to the second one (I bought the first one a couple years later when it dropped). The second one is a lead generator for my main brand’s design services; Scorpion Agency.
Local Auto Salvage Yards – This one is just an informational site with some PPC ads.
You’ll have to excuse the outdated designs on those, some of my networks are comprised of websites I developed as far back as 2005 and I never updated them. (I maintain both; A public portfolio and a private portfolio)
Personally, I’m a firm believer that a domain needs to pay for itself. If any of my domains can’t cover their own renewals at the end of the year, I don’t need them. Which is why I like to develop everything I invest in. If you haven’t read it yet, take a look at the article I wrote on NamePros in Apr. 2015 about developing domains.
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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