Do You Make These 7 Mistakes When You Develop Your Domains?
Ok, so you already know how to choose a domain name, you know how to choose a hosting plan, etc. etc. You may know how to do all of that BUT if you are making the plunge into domain name development and shooting to make quite a nice sized chunk of change then you had better plan ahead to make sure that you do it properly. Are you making any of these 7 mistakes when you develop your domains?
Mistake #1 – Forcing All of Your Domains into the Same Business Model
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when you develop your domains is to treat them all the same. If you do this then you will most likely leave a lot of money on the table. This is even more true with premium domain names.
While it is certainly important to find a winning business model or domain monetization strategy and then scale it quickly (see #2 below) – you should only scale and duplicate your business model across domain names from your portfolio that are similar in nature. Do not assume that just because the best way to monetize your mortgage domain names is with a mortgage lead generation affiliate program then that a lead generation affiliate program of some sort is the best way to monetize your music lyrics domain names as well.
Treat every new niche as a chance to craft a new business model. Stay away from blanket statements like “AdSense is never the best way to monetize a domain name” (that is usually true though by the way) or “You should sell advertising on all of your websites”. Take the time to plan out your business model and do it before you begin designing your site.
Mistake #2 – Failing to Scale Your Web Development Efforts
By all means put up a test site to work out some of the kinks in setting up an affiliate program, or creating a membership site, or creating a downloadable ebook BUT once you have put your business model into practice then scale your solution across all of your sites within that same niche.
To quickly scale up your web development efforts then consider using a combination of the following solutions:
1. WordPress – (WordPress is much more than just free blogging software and can very easily be used as a CMS for an entire website. Minus our domain tools dashboard this entire site is run on WordPress).
2. cPanel/WHM – Choose a host that offers cPanel and WHM (Web Hosting Manager). Some of my favorites include HostGator and HostMonster. Along with being compatible with the other mass website development options that I will mention below and offering many other features cPanel also offers an install of WordPress with just a couple of clicks.
3. Mass Account Manager – MAM is a software package that you upload to your server and use to interact with WHM and cPanel to create and manage multiple packages and accounts. Using this software it is a cinch to create hundreds or even thousands of accounts on your server so that each of your domains will be set up and ready to go. MAM also has functionality to allow you to schedule cron jobs to mass upload files across multiple sites via ftp. This means that if you want to update a file or folder on say all of your nutrition sites then you can just with a few clicks instead of having to connect via FTP to every single one of your sites that you want to make the change on.
4. WP Auto Installer/WP Auto Upgrader – These 2 WordPress plugin (not free) are well worth the price if you are planning on installing WordPress on a lot of your domains and want to keep them upgraded to the newest version of WordPress. You may think that you don’t have to worry about purchasing plugins like these but let me tell you once you start to install and manage more than 10 or so WordPress installs on different domains then it can quickly become a huge time suck if you don’t plan ahead to scale your efforts with these plugins.
5. WP Cloner – This plugin is my absolute favorite WordPress plugin (not free and again well worth the price just like the preceding plugins) and I use a lot (until I get around to writing my own list of WordPress plugins Michael Fortin has a great list). WP Cloner allows you to clone the pages, settings, themes, options, posts, categories, you name it from one WordPress blog onto as many others as you would like. This is a huge time saver and it is pretty flexible as far as being able to select via check box which things you would like to clone over and which you would like to just leave alone. Just like MAM this plugin is also another great way to update multiple websites at once although with WP Cloner of course you can only update your sites that have WordPress installed and with MAM you can update all of your sites whether they have WordPress installed or not.
6. Manage Multiple Blogs Plugin – I confess that this plugin is not one that I have used myself but I keep meaning to try it. I also would like to try out WordPress MU and although I do not know too much about it I know that Barry Goggin of Predictive Domaining does and I may have to see if I can get him to weigh in on it in detail (I did buy his ebook and it is pretty well detailed and full of good information but it does cover a lot of basic WordPress material for the first portion).
7. Premium WordPress Themes – If your site looks like crap then people won’t buy. There I said it. Now I feel better. Go out and purchase some high quality premium WordPress themes from a place like WooThemes or Studio Press (formerly known as Revolution Two – this site currently uses a modified version of the Revolution Church WordPress theme developed by Brian Gardner). If you are smart and thinking ahead then you will buy a developer’s license so that you can install the themes on as many different domains as you want.
Mistake #3 – Letting Your Site’s Content Get Stale
This is self explanatory. Some niches will need more attention than others. At a minimum you should keep some kind of website tracking sheet so that you can periodically check up on your websites (even the ones that you are not continually adding fresh content to). Again, this is where using a very easy to use free software package like WordPress can be a huge time saver.
Mistake #4 – Failing to Market the Site
Sure, I will give it to you that sometimes it is a good strategy to just put up a quick website with a couple of pages of original and well written content so that the domain can at least get indexed by the search engines and start to age a little bit. However, if that is all you are doing with all of your websites then you may be in for a rude surprise when all of the type-in traffic that you were expecting doesn’t necessarily monetize as well as you had hoped. Build backlinks to the site slowly, participate in the community of the niche that the site is in (leave blog comments, post in forums, etc.), and slowly but surely your marketing efforts will start to pay off.
Mistake #5 – Ignoring Basic SEO
It is really amazing to see some web developers ignore or just flat out violate basic and commonly accepted SEO good practice guidelines. When you are building a lot of sites at once it can definitely be easy to overlook common things like adding a keyword rich title tag, properly structuring your site’s internal link structure, arranging your site into a properly themed silo structure (since I am in the mood to mention a lot of good WordPress plugins here is another good one: Virtual Silo. This plugin makes creating silo themed WordPress sites a snap)., etc. If it helps make a list so you won’t forget. If you don’t know where to start or you just want to stay abreast of what is happening in the SEO world then purchase the SEO Book membership from Aaron Wall or go get a PRO Membership from SEO Moz.
Mistake #6 – Thinking You Know it All
If you want to consistently build great sites and scale your web development up so that you are publishing to more than just a couple of websites then you need to be willing to learn. Do all you can to study up at places like TUTS+ or enlist the help of a mini site developer like Bradley from Site Graduate. There is always something that you could use to sharpen your skills or someone who can offer some fresh insight.
Mistake #7 – Giving Up at the Wrong Time
Notice that I did not say that just plain giving up is a mistake. Why? Because sometimes quitting a particular course of action can be a smart business move. However, make sure if you quit it is for the right reasons and not just because you would rather watch TV for 6 hours every night and stuff your face with Twinkies (although you could of course actually still keep working from your laptop while doing both of those things but anyway…) Read The Dip by Seth Godin to figure out when you should quit and when you should persevere.
There you have it. Check out our tools for finding great domain names (you can access the tools directly by heading right on over to our dashboard) and then get started making some money by developing your domain names into full blown content rich websites!
- Customizing WordPress with Plugins
- 11 Free WordPress Photo Gallery Plugins
- WordPress Coming Soon Plugin: Why I Love It (and You Should Too)
- How to choose a CMS for a domain