Turning a Dormant Blog Into a Money Maker

Adsense ready Wordpress themes, Advice for Beginners, Blogging, Developing Domains, Monetizing Domains August 26th, 2011

Increasing CTR by DomainerPro.com

How I turned a website with little traffic and no profit into a $10 a day profit machine

Pay attention, because these are concrete, specific tips of the kind that are not usually shared in the domain name industry.

I have a blog – whose name I will not furnish because I don’t want to violate any Adsense rules –¬†where I write reviews of money transfer services. Not the most exciting of subjects perhaps, but important to the millions of people who regularly send remittances overseas. I don’t publish new material often – one article per month or so – but I do write the articles myself and I try to make them useful.

To find an article topic, I go to news.google.com and do a search for “money transfer”. As I sift through the results I ignore press releases. I keep scrolling until I find a genuine news piece. I read it, absorb the info, then summarize it into a concise article, using my own phrasing and adding my own observations. This usually takes about half an hour.

Alternatively, I look at my stats to see what search phrases readers are using to find my website. I take one of the more popular phrases, do my own search and read up on that subject, and write an article about it.

I also occasionally answer readers’ questions about problems they may be having with online transfer systems or online bank accounts.

The website was created with WordPress, is monetized with Google Adsense, and has always paid quite well per click. The problem has been the lack of traffic, and the low CTR. There is some search traffic, but not enough to generate significant income. Recently I decided to try driving traffic to the website with Google Adwords. I was able to get traffic for as little as 2 cents per click, but the problem was that the Adsense CTR (click through rate) was quite low, on the order of 1.5 percent.

To address this issue, I installed the Heatmap theme, which is an Adsense-optimized WordPress theme. I monetized the website fully, with five Adsense units on each page, three of those being ad units, and two link units, using the sizes and placements recommended by the Heatmap theme. I used the Adsense Injection plugin to place some of the ads strategically.

Initially I set the Adsense ads to image and text, which is the default setting. With the new ad placements, the CTR climbed to between 5% and 7%. Then I tried setting the ads to text only, no images, and I saw another jump in CTR, to between 10% and 15%.

Yes, the ads are a bit over the top. They do somewhat take over the website. But it worked. With the CTR as high as it is, I can now drive traffic with Adwords and make a profit. I spend about $3 per day advertising this site with Adwords, and it generates about $15 per day on Adsense. So it’s quite a good profit for a website that requires a time investment of 30 minutes per month.

The next challenge will be to bring in traffic from other sources, and to update the website more frequently – perhaps once every three or four days – with new articles. I may do this myself, or contract it out, but the key is that the articles must be quality writing, with useful tips and news. Content is still king.

Free Domain Names, and the Question of Advertorials

Blogging, Registering Domains December 8th, 2007

Free domain names

A certain domain name blogger wrote a recent post titled, “Register a FREE domain name!” in which he mentions a service called DomainLagoon.com that gives you points for filling out web surveys, and then allows you to trade those points for a domain name registration. But is it really worth your time?

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Pay Attention to This New Domainer Blog

Advice for Beginners, Blogging, Blogroll November 18th, 2007

Pay attention to this new domain name blog

No, not mine… I’m talking about DNBizBlog.com. I came across this blog last week, and though it’s still freshly minted with only four posts, I’m very impressed with what I’ve read so far. The author, who goes simply by the handle ASN5, is a programmer and domainer from way back who registered his first domain in 1994.

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40 Must-Read Blogs for Domainers

Advice for Beginners, Blogging, Domain Industry News, Domain Tools August 25th, 2007

Keep on domaining - maybe you'll end up on this tropical beach
Here’s my list of not-to-be-missed blogs about domaining, by top domainers (I included mine on the list – forgive the presumption). In alphabetical order:

  1. CircleID.comhttp://www.circleid.com/
    More of a social media site than a true blog, CircleID.com is a community hub for the internet’s infrastructure & policies.
  2. The Conceptualist – http://www.conceptualist.com/
    Sahar Sarid’s is co-founder of Recall Media Group and self-made domain entrepreneur. I check this one every day.
  3. David Carter’s Bloghttp://www.david-carter.com/blog/
    David is a domainer and internet marketer from Birmingham, U.K.
  4. DailyDomainer.com – http://www.dailydomainer.com/
    I’m not sure what’s going on with the Daily Domainer. This blog was inactive from June to October, then there was a small flurry of posts, and now it is dormant once again. In any case there’s plenty of good archived material.
  5. DirectNavigation.comhttp://directnavigation.com/
    A recent addition to this list, DirectNavigation.com is written by an experienced domainer. Frequent updates consist of short domain industry news briefs.
  6. DNBizBlog.comhttp://www.dnbizblog.com/
    DNBizBlog just debuted in November 2007, but is a truly welcome addition with excellent advice and personal experiences of a long-time domainer. This is what we need more of.
  7. DomainBits.comhttp://www.domainbits.com/
    Jeff Behrendt’s blog debuted in November 2007 and has already garnered a lot of attention for its well-researched posts.
  8. Domain Name Newshttp://www.domainnamenews.com/
    Run by two domainers, this blog supplies domain industry news, particularly coverage of domain conferences.
  9. DomainPulse.comhttp://www.domainpulse.com/
    Domain pulse provides a steady stream of domain name industry news.
  10. DomainerPro.comhttp://www.domainerpro.com/
    W. H. Abdelgawad’s new domaining blog is a welcome addition. Good information for beginning domainers, and general domaining strategies.
  11. The Domainer’s Gazettehttp://www.domainersgazette.com/
    Billed as ” Domainers Covering the Domaining Industry”, this is Peter Askew’s domaining blog. Peter started this blog in March 2007 and has posted much useful information.
  12. DomainTools Bloghttp://blog.domaintools.com/
    Jay Westerdal’s blog is updated frequently and provides heavy coverage of domain name conferences and auctions. Jay is a frequent poster on NamePros.com as well.
  13. Domain Name Wirehttp://www.domainnamewire.com/
    News source for the domain name industry written by industry experts and edited by Andrew Allemann.
  14. Dominik Mueller Domain Name Consultinghttp://www.dmueller.com/
    Dominik, who has been in the domain business since 2003, specializes in the sale and acquisition of premium domain names.
  15. DotSauce Domain News Magazinehttp://www.dotsauce.com/
    DotSauce was founded in April 2007 by Mark Fulton who says, “we understand that you want more than drab news and controversy concerning ICANN, so we will often times include articles, reviews and news on innovative applications and resources you may find useful.”
  16. Elliot’s Blog – http://www.elliotsblog.com/
    Elliot Silver is the owner of Top Notch Domains LLC, which owns a strong portfolio of generic domain names. His blog is definitely a must-read, not least for his superb “5 With” series of interviews of major domaining personalities.
  17. Inside Domaininghttp://www.insidedomaining.blogspot.com/
    Steve Granville-Smith’s blog: “This is Your Time, You Were Born to Be A Domainer!”
  18. The Key – http://blogs.business2.com/sloan/
    Paul Sloan’s blog is a member of Business 2.0’s Blog Network, and is very industry oriented.
  19. Name Brief – http://www.namebrief.com/
    Bret Fausett is not a prolific poster, but his writing is interesting and relevant.
  20. RickLatona.comhttp://www.ricklatona.com/
    Rick Latona is a top domainer who has recently debuted a blog and a daily newsletter in which he offers premium domains for sale at low prices.
  21. The Rick Shwartz Domain and Traffic Bloghttp://www.ricksblog.com/
    Rick Schwartz, the “Domain King,” says that he is “famous for ruffling feathers.” In any case, he is one of the leaders of the domain name industry and his blog is indispensable reading for any serious domainer.
  22. Seven Mile: the Official Frank Schilling Bloghttp://frankschilling.typepad.com/my_weblog/
    Frank Schilling is one of the dukes of the domain name industry. Any domainer can learn a lot from him.
  23. Tropical SEO – http://tropicalseo.com/
    Crude language but insightful posts on search engine optimization (obviously), domaining and “competitive webmastering.”
  24. Whizzbangsblog.comhttp://whizzbangsblog.com/
    Michael Gilmour’s domaining blog.
  25. Other Important Blogs

    These blogs are not focused specifically on domain names, though some of them do address the topic from time to time. But they are very useful for anyone interested in website monetization and profitable web publishing:

  26. Aaron Wall’s SEO Book.comhttp://www.seobook.com/
    An important blog about online marketing and search engine optimization.
  27. CopyBlogger.comhttp://www.copyblogger.com/
    Copywriting tips for online marketing success.
  28. DNXpert.comhttp://www.dnxpert.com/
    Domain name industry news. Blogger John Motson also regularly shares lists of good expired or available domain names with his readers and subscribers.
  29. doshdoshhttp://www.doshdosh.com/
    Subtitled “helping you make money online”, doshdosh.com is an incredibly useful blog. Updated daily, there is a wealth of information here about blogging, website monetization and promotion strategies, and online entrepreneurship in general.
  30. Tony Hill’s Ad Publishing Bloghttp://www.tony-hill.net/
    Great guidance on effective web publishing.
  31. Extras:

    These are not necessarily must-read blogs, but they make for interesting reading nonetheless:

  32. Ambler on the Net – http://www.ambler.net/
    Christopher Ambler’s industry blog, covering Internet industry news, ICANN, the Domain Name System, Domainers, domain monetization, and other items of interest.
  33. The Amateur Domainerhttp://www.amateurdomainer.com/
    He portrays himself as a total bumbler, just trying to make a few cents. But for a beginner he’s doing a lot of things right. I ended up reading almost every post he’s written.
  34. BorgHunter’s Blog – http://www.borghunter.com/
    Though only a high school student, Mitchell Bundy’ – the “Borg Hunter” -has notably developed a domain name portfolio plugin for WordPress.
  35. BVTD.com: Buying, Valuating and Trading Domainshttp://bvtd.com/
    A new blog introduced in March 2008 by a fellow who collects LLLL.com and LLLLL.com domains as a hobby.
  36. Domaining.org.ukhttp://www.domaining.org.uk/
    An excellent blog that focuses on .uk domains.
  37. DNVW: Domain Name Values Weeklyhttp://www.dnvw.com/
    This blog recently changed hands and David, the new owner, has given it a fresh breath of life. With its new design and updated content, this is one to watch.
  38. Income.comhttp://www.income.com/
    John Reese’s Income.com blog contains a lot of useful information about marketing, traffic generation and SEO.
  39. Quad Letter Domainshttp://www.quadletterdomains.com/
    Market trends, news and personal experience of four letter domains for enthusiasts and investors.
  40. StevePavlina.com: Personal Development for Smart Peoplehttp://www.stevepavlina.com/
    Steve Pavlina’s blog contains enough material on personal development to fill several books. He also writes about blogging and making money online.Inactive Blogs:
  41. DomainEditorial.comhttp://www.domaineditorial.com/
    This blog has not been active since July 2007 but has some good archived material.
  42. Domain Rookie – http://domainrookie.com/
    Subtitled, “Stumbling through the domain investment world one day at a time”, this is another blog that had some promise but petered out in July 2007.

Not a Domain Name Expert!

Advice for Beginners, Blogging August 18th, 2007

Living on a tropical beach: the fantasy of every domain name pro

Being known as an expert in a field brings some important benefits, and for bloggers or online marketers such a status can be a stepping stone to great wealth.

But in a post titled, “Personal Branding and the Expert Status: Why You Shouldn’t Call Yourself an Expert”, Maki, author of the blog DoshDosh.com (a fantastic general guide to making money online), argues convincingly that online marketers and bloggers (and I would extend this to domainers or anyone else, really) should not call themselves experts. Maki makes several points, a few of which I have elaborated upon:

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Finding a Good Domain Name: Where I Found DomainerPro.com

Advice for Beginners, Blogging August 11th, 2007

Doesn't every domain name professional dream of tropical beaches?

When I decided recently that I wanted to start a blog about domaining – the business of buying and selling domain names, or buying domains and monetizing them – I knew that I wanted a relevant, to-the-point web address for the blog. Where do you go to find a good selection of topical domain names at a good price?

I posted a message in the Domains Wanted section at NamePros.com. I’ve had good luck finding quality domains there at a reasonable price. The section is read daily by hundreds of domainers who probably own tens of thousands of domains between them. Prices tend to be reasonable, particularly if they know that you’re another domainer.

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