FAVOURITES

In 2019, a client reached out to SerpNames to buy an aged domain. She waited for three months for the right one to become available. In November 2019, this client finally purchased an aged domain with the intent to build a niche site.

Given her lack of experience in SEO content strategy, she did not attract a lot of traffic. Therefore, she could not generate the income she wanted.

Fast forward to August 2021, she hired Tessah from The SEO Mama agency to help her grow her business site.

Within 9 months:

This case study will lay out:

You will see how much our client invested in her site, how she took up a second job to afford SEO services, and how her sacrifices paid off fast because of the pre-built authority of the aged domain.

P.S: For privacy concerns, we are keeping this client anonymous.

Are you ready? Let's begin.

Who is our client?

Our client is a full-time physical therapist based in the United States. 

She first heard about SEO in 2018 in a lead generation course. Later, she was introduced to using aged domains to speed up rankings and get traffic faster. 

In 2019, she bought her first aged domain from SerpNames. The niche site is the first website she has ever owned.

The beginning

As I mentioned, this client bought a domain from SerpNames in November 2019. She was looking to build her digital portfolio and bring in enough revenue to replace her 9 to 5. 

Of course, she could have bought a completely new domain and built a brand from scratch. Doing so would mean she would have to build authority from ground zero and pass the sandbox stage before being able to generate high income from the website. 

The sandbox is a Google feature that prevents new sites from ranking in search results because they are not as authoritative as older domains. It lasts 3 months to 8 months. Your Money Your Life (YMYL) niches can be in the sandbox for one year.

So, our client bought an aged domain because she understood that ranking is easier with them.  Aged domains have pre-built authority.

But she did not buy any domain available. You must be careful when choosing an aged domain because selecting the wrong one may mean wasting time and money building a website that Google penalizes later.

To select the right domain, our client paid attention to 3 essential factors:

  1. The aged domain had to be in her niche.
  2. The domain name had to closely resemble the business as she did not want to mislead visitors.
  3. The site had to have a good backlink profile; that is, many backlinks from reputable brands must be pointing to the domain.

TL;DR

  • It is not necessary to have any prior SEO experience to get started
  • Select an aged domain in a relevant niche
  • Select an aged domain that has many backlinks from reputable brands

First Steps

After buying the domain, our client started to work on the website. She hired web developers from Upwork to redesign the site. She also re-created a page about spaying and neutering animals to add accurate information.

Our client initially wrote all the articles for the site (about 50 articles on animal rescue) but reached out to paid writers to flesh out the content for the website. By the end of 2020, there were 131 articles on the blog. Her revenue streams were Amazon affiliate and Ezoic ads

But she saw minimal improvement in ranking and income. She made $4 to $10 daily with Amazon Affiliate and very little with Ezoic because she had a small number of page views.

Her main problem during this time was a lack of strategy. But she didn’t know better because she was not familiar with SEO.

TL;DR

  • Aged domains don’t work like magic. You need an SEO strategy.

Our client hires Tessah.

After more than one year of trying to get the website to take off, our client still achieved very little result. The site was not attracting any significant revenue or traffic.

In August 2021, she hired Tessah. Tessah is the founder and CEO of The SEO Mama

Tessah has more than 10 years of SEO experience building and flipping niche sites. She built a craft website on an aged domain and sold it for $143,000 in 2017.

Tessah is our client’s friend. She was the one who encouraged our client to buy the domain. Our client hired Tessah to work on the website and deliver results within 3 months.

To work with Tessah, our client had to agree to fund consistent content creation for the website in the next six months. The SEO Mama has consistently published at least 16 articles per month since September 2021.

When our client hired Tessah, the website was doing 7,052 page views every month and was bringing in less than a hundred dollars per month.

TL;DR

  • Invest in SEO

After Tessah came on board

After Tessah became our client’s SEO manager, she executed a website audit. An audit helps you find out how to improve SEO in areas like content quality and content gaps.

Tessah changed the site’s structure to look like an authority website. Previously, the domain was a company website, so Tessah published resources and how-to guides.

301 redirects

Redirects are an essential part of setting up an aged domain. 

People buy aged domains mainly because of the domain’s old backlinks. If backlinks are pointing to the old pages of the domain, people either rebuild those pages or redirect them to the homepage or new content. 

Why do they do that? So that backlinks don't get lost. Site owners preserve old links to maintain their domain's authority.

Our client redirected the old pages when she first purchased the aged domain because of Tessah’s advice.

All backlinks pointing to the old pages were redirected to the homepage. Tessah advised that they should be sent to the homepage because the old pages did not rank for money keywords (commercial keywords).

Keyword research

Our client hired Tessah in August 2021. She did competition and keyword gap analysis to create a list of short-term keywords to target.

At the end of September, Tessah published the first batch of 16 articles. It continued at 16 blog posts per month and increased to 25 per month after 6 months.

These were the first steps Tessah took when our client hired her. And these steps made it possible for the site to see massive growth within 9 months.

TL;DR

  • Begin with a website audit
  • Redirect old backlinks to your homepage or important new pages
  • Publish a good number of posts per month

As you know, ranking on Google is only one part of running a successful brand. You must build genuine connections with your audience to increase click-through rates, lower bounce rates, and boost ad views. 

We’ll discuss the content strategy and how it contributed to the site's massive growth.

Tessah's Content Strategy

Let’s dive into Tessah’s content strategy and how it helped her grow the business site to $5031 per month.

Keyword research, short-term vs. long-term

Remember Tessah asked our client to give her 3 months to deliver results. She knew she had to focus on keywords likely to rank fast.

To rapidly increase the website’s traffic, Tessah analyzed direct competitors and made a list of keywords grouped into short-term and long-term keywords. She only targeted short-term keywords, which usually improve rankings within three months.

For a site to qualify as a competitor, it had to:

Then, she found keywords these competitors were ranking for on page one. 

She figured that if lower DR sites were ranking on page one for a particular keyword, chances were that our client’s website would also rank for that exact keyword. Google ranks web pages based on their authority on a search term.

Tessah only published content optimized for short-term keywords for the first few months. As a result, she saw significant growth in little time. Some articles began to rank on page one within 1 month, and the site quickly grew to 25,000 visitors.

To replicate this, you don’t need to target many competitors. Tessah only analyzed two or three at a time.

Content publishing

During the first six months, Tessah published 16 articles per month. Then she advised our client to increase the content order to 25 posts a month. 

The reason for publishing more posts was to increase authority as quickly as possible, rank higher, and attract more traffic.

She has focused on publishing articles optimized for niche keywords. Most conversions have come from articles optimized for money keywords, which is unsurprising because readers click on affiliate links to purchase Amazon products. All reviews are roundup reviews. 

The number of informational articles is higher than commercial articles on the website. It is a good thing because:

  1. Informative posts drive more traffic
  2. They bring in the most revenue because of Mediavine display ads

Content updates rarely happen on our client’s niche site. The previous posts are still ranking for their keywords, and Tessah is currently focused on publishing new content. According to Tessah, a niche business site should aim to publish 50 to 100 posts a month.

The last content update happened some months back when readers gave a negative feedback about a particular post. Our client rewrote it to include more accurate info. 

Tessah’s SEO agency has now published about 270 posts on the business site. It brings the total number of live articles to 400. 

Hiring and Managing Writers

Tessah uses Workello to recruit and manage an in-house writing team. Workello allows her to filter out bad writers by including a test project of 300 words during recruitment. The agency matched our client with the writer who now works with her. The writer is paid about 3c per word.

Tessah does not require her writers to do any SEO. Her team uses Ahrefs and Thruuu to create content briefs that contain the number of words to write, the h2 and h3s, and relevant questions to include in the article.

For on-page SEO, writers focus on optimizing an article for a target keyword – creating optimized  URLs, titles, and meta descriptions to maximize click-through rates. Articles match search intent to keep readers for a longer time on the posts. High CTRs (Click-Through-Rates) and low bounce rates increase a site’s authority and ranking in search results.

According to Tessah, this is the process she has followed since 2009 to optimize traffic.

Internal Linking and anchor texts

The SEO Mama’s internal linking-building strategy follows two rules:

She prefers to use anchor texts related to the target keyword and naked URLs. She avoids using exact match anchor texts more than two times in an article because too many of them are spammy and unnatural. They add at least three internal links per post.

TL;DR

  • Target short-term keywords to drive fast traffic
  • Target direct competitors with lower Ahrefs DR ratings
  • Publish at least 25 posts a month, and ideally between 50 to 100 per month
  • Focus on creating posts that match search intent
  • Don’t use too many direct match anchor texts

Tessah's Link Building Method (HARO)

The SEO Mama offers digital PR services. The team leveraged thought leadership to build high-quality backlinks for the site. They have been pitching our client’s expertise to many journalists using  HARO.

In case you don’t know, HARO is a platform where reporters and writers ask for expert quotes on a specific topic. They select the best quotes, include them in articles, and include backlinks to the expert’s website.

Tessah’s team targeted getting 3 links per month from HARO. Their PR Specialist started giving quotes on HARO in August 2021, and the first placements went live in September.

To get the best results from HARO, you must be careful about the kinds of websites that you prospect and pitch. Tessah’s team only responds to a HARO query if the publishing site:

To date, The SEO Mama has built 15 backlinks from DR70 websites to our client’s niche site. All of the new backlinks point to the homepage.

TL;DR

  • Build high-quality links from high DR sites to your aged domain
  • Level up your link-building strategy through HARO thought leadership

Monetization

Let’s talk about money. 

Our client’s niche site currently generates revenue in two ways: Amazon affiliate marketing and Mediavine.

When our client managed the site herself, she used affiliate marketing and Google Adsense to generate revenue. But they weren’t making a lot because:

Tessah came on board and advised our client to apply to Ezoic and Mediavine once traffic increased to 50,000 a month. 

To date, the site brings in money from both Amazon and Mediavine. For Amazon, Tessah targets products that cost at least $50.

TL;DR

  • Use multiple monetization strategies

Results

The moment of truth.

Our client has invested about $3,500 per month since she hired Tessah in August 2021. Note that this rate was for just the agency fees at a discount, excluding content.

The monthly retainer was for an SEO specialist, an on-page specialist, and a project manager. Our client had to take on two to three side jobs apart from her 9 to 5 to be able to afford the price.

We will present the results generated since Tessah started working on the site. Judge by yourself whether it has been a good investment. 

After 1 month (September 2021):

Tessah was hired in August 2021. At that time, page views were at 7,052, and user sessions were at 6,166. Our client was making $4 to $10 daily.

After one month, by the end of September, Tessah published the first batch of 16 posts. At that point, it was too early to see any major results.

After 4 months (December 2021):

By December, 16 posts had been published monthly for three months. Several posts were already ranking on Google’s page one. The agency had acquired new HARO backlinks. 

Unique sessions increased to 20,091, and monthly page views reached 22,640.

After 6 months (February 2022):

February is the sixth month that Tessah has been working with the site. At that point, Mediavine had been added to the website, and traffic plus revenue had increased significantly.

Traffic had reached almost 75,000 page views, and earnings were $483. In March, page views jumped to 100,000, and Amazon earnings reached $572.

In April, the niche site hit 126,827 page views. Amazon affiliate revenue was $982. 

Total Mediavine earnings from the time the website was approved reached $3566.

By April, our client’s business website reached 398,747 page views and 11,800,000 impressions. Monthly traffic reached 126,000.

9 months later (May 2022):

In May, our client earned $120 to $140 every day from Mediavine. She made up to $80 daily with Amazon. By that time, 300+ articles had been published. 

Monthly Amazon revenue reached an all-time high of $1525, and Mediavine earnings hit $3505. 

In May 2022, our client generated $5,031 in site revenue. In 2022 alone, the website has made $20,000.

Google Update Hit in May 2022

Towards the end of May,  a Google update hit our client’s niche site. For many sites, this would have been the end. But, the website quickly bounced back.

Our client lost 70% of website traffic during the update. With Tessah’s help and the established authority of the aged domain, the site has since almost fully recovered. The traffic loss has gone from 70% to 10%.

In June 2022, our client made $2,100 from Amazon and $2,600 from Mediavine. Despite the hit, the site still generated $4,700.

Major Takeaways and Actionable Insights

Choose a profitable niche.

According to Tessah, almost any niche is profitable. You just have to put in enough effort and be patient to make it happen. 

An extremely competitive niche requires you to have a big budget and to build links aggressively. You must also be willing to wait for a long time, perhaps a few years, to generate revenue.

Look for a relatively easy niche to profit from. Consider one with many evergreen keywords. 

A blog post ranking for an evergreen keyword can continue attracting thousands of visitors for several months or even years. Also, people spend a lot of money on things that matter to them.

Our client chose her niche because she was passionate about the topic and saw the potential growth.

According to Tessah, an easily profitable niche is one in which:

Mistakes/Regrets

No project is perfect. Our client and Tessah would do a few things differently to generate better results. 

Our client wishes she had hired an SEO agency from the beginning instead of trying to wing it on her own.

Tessah wishes she started with 50 posts per month from the beginning.

Future Plans

Our client is currently planning to flip the niche site soon. 

Website flipping involves purchasing a website, increasing its market value, and then selling it for profit. Given the current revenue and traffic of the website, I believe our client will make a nice six-figure exit.

Wrapping Up

Are you thinking of buying an aged domain? Both our client and Tessah from The SEO Mama have similar advice for you.

They say you should select an aged domain that is super relevant to your niche and has no spammy or low-quality backlinks. This increases your chances of succeeding with the domain.

Our client also says to invest as much as possible into an aged domain worth the price. In her own words, ”If you’re starting out, $500 to $1K is good, but if you have deep pockets, don’t hesitate to invest in a site worth $5K that’s calling out your name, in a niche you’re passionate about.”

She says she will only use aged domains from now on because the growth potential they offer is amazing.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Ask any questions you have.

Here’s a very real case study from my client who boosted his website (created on a fresh domain) using the power of aged domains.

All you need are a couple of months and the right aged domain to get these mind-blowing results.

Let’s start!

If you are a registered SerpNames member, you might remember receiving a mail like this from me.

In July 2021, I ran an aged domain giveaway. Let me take you through what it was all about.

I was looking for someone to test our 301 acquisition strategy on an aged domain. 

What is 301 acquisition? 

We’ve explained it in detail below. But, in short, you can use this strategy to fill the lack of backlinks and authority on your niche website.

What’s the result? 

A boost in rankings and traffic. It takes approx 1-3 months to see the results. 

For the giveaway, we took the risk on us and if you got the ROI and felt satisfied, only then you had to pay us. Otherwise, the domain was yours for free. 

I found a suitable tester in the form of Andy, who was also at that time looking for a robust aged domain to redirect to his original site. 

Here’s Andy’s story:

Andy is a digital marketer with 10 years of experience. 

Three years back, he and his partner decided to start an Amazon affiliate website without a prior affiliate marketing experience. 

He started the project on a new domain at the end of 2018. Only after a year and a half did he see a rise in traffic.

In his words, ‘the revenue was insignificant in the beginning.’

These are the website stats before the 301 Acquisition Strategy.

What is 301 Acquisition Strategy?

301 redirection strategy is about transferring the link juice from one page to another page.

This strategy boosts an existing domain by transferring links from a strong aged domain.

You can't just use any random domain with low-quality spam links as that’ll only harm your existing site. 

As cliched as it may sound, an aged domain is like wine - the more it gets old, the more powerful it becomes.

These domains have strong backlinks from high authority sites e.g. CNN, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, The New York Times to name a few.

If we talk about metrics, these high authority domains may have DR ranging from 80 to 90+.

Though, it doesn't mean sites with less DR are not strong. We mostly see having links from a site that got DR 25 and above as a strong one.

So, coming back to the 301 strategy, here is how it works:

Let's say you are the owner of domainB.com, and you have tried your best like content optimization, technical SEO, even guest posting to build some links. 

Even after putting all your efforts to rank, it’s not working.

Now, you already know the importance of getting links from a high authority site, but if you want such a site to link back to your website, then you also know it’s close to impossible.

Even if you get the chance, it will be way too expensive, sometimes costing you more than your average profit. 

Here comes the Aged Domain to the rescue where "price per referring domain" is unbeatable.

An aged domain’s already got links from several high authority sites for you. All you need is to execute the plan carefully.

At SerpNames, we recommended our clients recover the aged domain from the Wayback machine.

Then host the site for some time, aka from a few weeks to a month, so that Google can index it naturally and recover the link juice.

After this, create an acquisition page on your niche website like "xyz.com/abc-acquired"

Add 400-800 words of content to that acquisition page about your abc.com aged domain. You can mention that xyz.com has acquired abc.com, history and brief info about abc.com, etc. 

Please don't add any false information like abc.com owner has decided to partner up with our xyz.com.

Add your internal links to the most important and relevant pages or categories within that acquisition page. You can add as many as you want but don't make it look spammy and preferably choose the mix of commercial and informational articles.

And after some time, you can also redirect all links to specific pages e.g., money pages, or homepage. You can also redirect specific links to specific relevant pages.

So, now that you understand the logic behind it all, let’s come back to our case study.

The first 301 redirection

Andy made his first 301 redirection in March 2021 after which it took about 3 months for it to reflect in the DR and traffic metrics.

These are the stats of the first aged domain he redirected to his niche website.

There was a threefold increase in the revenue after this redirection. He created an acquisition page and did 301 redirection of all the URLs to this page.

Main niche website stats of RD’s and DR after first 301 acquisition strategy:

Main niche website stats of organic traffic and keywords after first 301 acquisition strategy:

The second 301 redirection

After the first successful redirection, Andy wanted to try another one for a greater boost in the DR. That’s also when I launched the giveaway.

The giveaway domain was a powerhouse with high relevancy and strong backlinks.

I was right about the result. Andy utilised the domain well and notched up his original website.

The strategy was the same - create an acquisition page and 301 all pages to it. This time the results appeared faster, just within a month! 

There was a boost in DR and revenue as the traffic grew.

Here’s the screenshot from the 12th of August, just before the 301 was carried out:

Here’s a look at the results after a month:

The traffic grew from 18K to 25K in just a month and over 40K in 3 months. 

You see, the result was mind-blowing. There was a steep rise as the redirected domains passed the authority to the original site. 

Here are the main niche website’s current stats:

You can also see the huge growth in traffic (around 1324% compared to initial stats) and other metrics too.

Let’s take a look at the earning report:

Now, fast forward to 2021:

In July 2021, before the second 301, the earnings were less than 1k. In just 3 months of the acquisition strategy, it has risen to 2k and continues upward.

Let’s take a look at the GSC traffic data as well:

Monthly impressions were about 50K in Aug 2021. There’s a double increase in just 3 months to 100K!

That’s all about the case study. Let me share Andy’s experience:

Were there any link building strategy?

We do not build any links besides the 301s. We are getting a lot of spam coupons and Blogspot links.

What was your content strategy?

We write mostly information content, between 30 and 100 articles per month.

Have you done any kind of speed optimization, does it affect your rankings in any way?

We cleaned all unnecessary plugins, and we are using Cloudflare caching, but I don't find any ranking impact on our keywords.

What are the mistakes you made, and what did you learn from them?

I think one of our main mistakes is not starting the website on an aged domain and not pushing harder on high-quality content.

What’s your next plan to grow this website’s page. 

We want to make more 301 acquisitions and continue to write content. Our target is to get to 1 million page views per month.

What do you think is the risk of using an aged domain based on your experience?

So far, we don't see risks as we do it naturally just as a normal business would acquire others.

What's your advice for someone's investing in aged domains?

Invest in a high-quality aged domain with high-quality content, and you will get the best of this strategy.

What was your overall experience with 301 acquisition vs any other link building process? 

Overall, this is the best strategy when you compare it to the other. The price per referring domain is absolutely the best.

It was great participating in the giveaway, the domain transfer ran smoothly as the previous ones.

Watch this case study shared by Mushfiq S, the owner of TheWebsiteFlip.com. He takes us through two of his successful websites, one created on an aged domain and the other one where he used an aged domain for 301 acquisition. He also answers some burning questions related to aged domains and their use.

For an affiliate marketer, there’s nothing more distressing than seeing your site get hit by Google.

But do you know there are still ways to save it? 

Hi, I am Sumit. In this case study, I interviewed my good friend and a successful affiliate marketer Vlad, who gave us a peek into his strategy to recover his site that got hit by Google in the December 2020 update.

He increased his daily traffic from 200 visitors to 2,000+ in just 3 months using the power of an aged domain. The total revenue increased 3.5X in just 2.5 months.

He has covered some gems here, so make sure to read it till the end. 

But first, the Background Story.

Vlad Khvatov is an online entrepreneur and an experienced affiliate marketer. 

He has made a mark in one of the most competitive niches. You can read more about him on his website

Vlad created his website on a fresh domain and chose one of the most competitive niches. With his expertise, he made it work as the site started getting 4,000-5,000 daily visitors until the Google Dec 2020 update.

That’s when his site got penalised and reduced his traffic to 1,000 per day. He recovered the site to some extent. You can read his case study for the exact details.

To keep the site growing, he had to come up with a new strategy.

That’s when the idea of using aged domains struck upon him, and he contacted me. 

We decided first to shift his site onto an aged domain using the 301 rebranding strategy. 

301 Rebranding is a process where we redirect the old site to a powerful and relevant aged domain. We're moving all the content with the exact permalinks structure.

We make the aged domain live again with archive content in this process, then let it sit for 1-3 months. We give this much time to let Google index the old content and links.

Once we see enough pages are indexed, we do the 301 rebranding and notify the change of address in the Google Search Console.

For this project, we used an aged domain with 103 referring domains for 301 rebranding.

The authority backlinks were coming from FoxNews.com, MinnPost.com, MspMag.com, MnDaily.com, and more.

Sadly, the immediate result of rebranding wasn’t encouraging as the traffic fell from 1,000 to 200 visitors per day in June 2021.

It was a risky tactic, and after seeing the results, we had to come up with a quick plan. 

I recommended we redirect a relevant & strong aged domain using the 301 acquisition strategy. This was the domain we used:

We redirected the domain on the 23rd July 2021 and started seeing the result immediately. Finally, some hope!

The traffic started growing from 200 daily to 800+ within 2 months after the 301 acquisition.  

The site is now making 2,000+ traffic. 

So, that was a long story short. 

Now, let me share what Vlad had to say about his experience.

When and why did you choose to go with aged domains?

Ah, that was at the beginning of my career. Back then, everyone talked about expired domains and spent hours scrolling through expireddomains.net to find something suitable for their PBN network, 301, or new sites (this had more priority). 

It was much easier to find expired domains three years ago, and services like SerpNames were just emerging. 

It was also an excellent time to build new sites and rank fast. The main problem was people didn’t know how to do it correctly and hence burned out fast. So, good practice was to find ten domains and build ten sites because only one would survive. 

Why? 

The first one is relevancy. Earlier you could build a casino site on a church domain and still rank. 🙂 

However, relevancy is super important now, not optional. 

The second one is Google itself. You just don’t know whether it would work or not. So if you have a budget, it’s a good practice even now to build in batches and see what is working. 

As for me, I started to use it about 1.5 years ago, simply because of the advantage we get from them. And yeah, I’m talking about expired domains, not aged domains. 

Aged domains are different and much more powerful, so I’ll try to share my expertise and some tricks with examples, of course. 

But let’s be honest if you don’t use aged domains in 2021 when you try to build a new website, you are already far away from your competitors. 

What criteria did you use to vet the aged domains and how to use them?

Let’s clear one thing first. There are two types of aged domains. 

  1. First is a dropped domain from resellers like SerpNames. The sites that expire are available for re-sale in auctions. The good ones are betted against and won. 
  2. The second is when you buy a live website directly from the owner.

The option you choose depends on your budget.

The first one is much easier to get, and it costs less. 

The second option is expensive, and you should understand what you need it for and why you need it. 

As for criteria to vet aged domains, this is what I look at first.

  1. Relevancy: Just remember one thing, it’s all about relevance. If you don’t want to get filtered (penalised) by Google within six months, always keep it in mind. 
  1. History: The most important thing is to check how the domain was used in the past. For example, someone may sell a domain presenting it as a legal company in the past, but when you dig deep on web.archive.org, you may find that it was used for 301 for 2-3 months a year ago or it was an affiliate website for the same period etc. It wasn’t working for the person, and he was just trying to drop it. Or the seller didn’t pay enough attention. Anything can happen, so always make sure to check the history.
  1. Links and where they point to: We all know it’s about the links, so yeah I pay attention to links’ quality and anchor texts. As for “where they point to”, look for all best by links in the Ahrefs’ top 50 pages if possible, not just the top 10 links. Sometimes results are worst when you check the rest of the links beside the default top 10. It may affect the relevancy as well as the anchor text ratio of backlinks.

Sumit has prepared a fantastic guide about this topic, so there is everything you need to know on vetting a domain:

https://serpnames.com/spam-checking-methods-of-aged-domains/

Now, let’s come to the strategy. 

What was your rebranding strategy process? Please describe.

Rebranding is a good strategy when you know the reason to use it. 

For me, there are two reasons. 

  1. When your site gets filtered, and you don’t really care about its future, simply because you can get hit again if you didn’t fix it in the rebranding period. 

My advice is don’t wait until the next core update and just redirect it.

  1. When your site is not growing or growing like other sites in your niche for 6+ months. 

Rebranding is much riskier than the 301 strategy. Because you can’t just get off the stream and let it recover. It’s rebranding, so you need to pay attention carefully. 

Here is one of the good examples of rebranding strategies: https://www.coffee-channel.com/ 

After December 2020 core update, you might see lots of such results. 

The vetting process is almost the same, but pay much more attention to it when you select a domain for rebranding.

For me, I don’t like the rebranding strategy much. So let’s move to the next one. 

What was your 301 acquisition strategy process? Please describe.

This is my most favourite one if you use it right. 

I’ll describe two methods to make it work. 

The first one is when you use the aged domain for cheap link building. 

That’s correct for cheap link building. And this is my favourite one to boost websites fast. 

You can find lots of examples on the web. But this is my favourite one: https://www.security.org/how-secure-is-my-password/ 

Yeah, the domain they bought was expensive, but they got the strategy right.

Just pass the juice to the most important pages and make it natural. 

Remember one thing. Don’t redirect to the homepage. It sucks. The strategy I am describing is the safest now. 

The second strategy is more advanced and needs a big budget (20-50k)

Go for it if you have the budget and are ready to spend it to boost your main project to the sky. 

Find a website that got hit by Google. 

As a person who lost a website, there is almost nothing to do with it. It’s like a complete loss.

And here you come. It helps a person and at the same time boosts your business which will get back investment in a few months. 

And let’s be honest, it’s a much better decision than recovering for people who lost the site.

I’m talking about 301 the existing site to your niche. 

The process is simple: 

  1. Find a website to buy in your niche with existing traffic and good links.
  2. Reach out to them and make a deal.  
  3. 301 the homepage to the internal pages of your website and just clone the content. 

The best examples are: 

https://hostingfacts.com/

https://catpet.club/

These two got hit hard, were bought and redirected with all the content. 

Check ahrefs to see how good it works. 

Do you build any links during rebranding and the 301 acquisition? If yes, please describe.

Yes, I do. Not much, but I always do. 

Just keep in mind one thing. 301 rebranding or redirection is only ONE of the ways. If you want long-term growth, then focus on link building as well.

The times when sites used to grow insanely are gone now. You need to build links, always. 

If someone told you otherwise, he is just a liar or has bought 1k+ referring domains website, highly relevant to his niche and not in a competitive niche. 

As for the content, it doesn’t matter. 

One of my sites was used just for 301, and I wanted to see how it was performing. We put 0 content, simply because it already had 200+ pages. 

But, if it’s a new domain and you don’t build content relevancy to your topic, you’re losing out on your growth. 

The best strategy for me, for now, is to build topic relevancy around promoted money content. 

Semantics are important. And today, as much as it was before. 

Here is one of the examples of my sites for today’s case study: 

I went for 301 redirection at the end of July 2021.

The traffic tripled in total, and revenue was 3.5X, which is a good result for this niche. 

In total, I’ve built around 15 links for this site.

We did this overall experiment only for this case study. The domain’s cost was $2,000. 

I know the numbers aren’t big at all. But remember, I didn’t do anything else with the site. Just really nothing. 

If I were working harder on it, there would be much better results. 

How can you improve your results? 

Keep working on the site. Don’t think redirect is the only thing you do and wait. 

Build related content around money pages. Keep building links. Improve your site. 

Just work on it. 

With your experience with aged domains, what would you like to share with the readers?

Give.It.Time.

Seriously, it takes time. 

Second, prepare before the battle.  Let the domain stay for a while after recovering the old content.

I know most of us want to go in some specific niches. Yes, you want, and you may go one day.

Buy a domain, publish few most important articles and let it stay for six months at least. 

For example.

I bought this website from Sumit and left it to stay. This is a really, really competitive niche. All keywords start from KD 30. I started to work on it at the end of summer 2021.

Here is the result: 

It’s growing like a charm. 

It’s a branded website, with awesome links. 

Almost every piece of content I publish gets instantly on at least pages 3-4, which is insane for this niche. 

This is my biggest and most important advice. 

Word of caution

Now let’s talk about the downsides. 

Stop thinking it’s a gold button. It’s not. It’s a really tricky tactic and you should use it as ONE of your link-building tactics. Cheap one. 

If we talk about building a new site it’s an even more difficult and risky game.

In some niches, it’s even money spent for nothing. And I’m serious. I know many stories and people who spent 10k, even 50k on domains, and the sites are still not working. 

Sometimes, the best option you can do is to register a new domain, upload content, and let it stay for a year. 

In pharma and gambling niches it’s already the main practice. So, pay attention to it.

Pro tip: open majestic and see the category of links built to your domain. For example, you bought a good domain for a cooking niche. You see lots of powerful links, all metrics are good enough, and you’re ready to buy. Open majestic, and you’ll see most links come from news\technology websites, which means Google thinks your site is more about tech news than cooking, recipes, etc. 

Why? 

Most people think content builds relevancy for Google. Not really, it’s all about the links. 

So, if you’re not sure and don’t have enough expertise, better leave it to the trusted professionals, like Sumit, ofcourse 🙂 

Wrap it up!

Hey guys, I hope you got some value from the case study and Vlad’s bits of advice. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments. As always, I will be happy to help you. 

If you found this case study helpful, please share it with your friends so they can also benefit.

Hey there, Sumit here again ^ ^

Recently I shared one of my client’s aged domain success, Affiliate Site Making $7,000/mo In 11 Months!

If you haven’t read it yet, go on and have a look at his impressive strategy.

Anyway, as promised, I’m back with another Rebirth Technique case study.

But this time, you will meet the man behind it 😉

I think it will be a surprise for most people when they knew that I didn’t build a single link, and it already crossed $3,000/mo in just four months for an $830 auction domain.

Just take note this one won’t disclose the domain name involved as requested.

Let’s begin!

The Background Story

First, I’d like you to meet Mahmoud Fathy 😊

He is a good friend of mine and a digital marketing enthusiast who’s been working in the field for over seven years now.

What he focuses on is SEO, especially building and scaling content sites.

Right now, Mahmoud is concerned with working on ContentWish that will help affiliate marketers expand their websites and reach more people.

The fact that he’s big on forming personal connections with the audience gives him the edge with his work.

And the fact that he loves traveling, exploring, and seeing new places and people helps him develop that personal skill. This consequently helps him understand how to reach the right people in the right way.

To give you an idea...

Our friendship started when I promoted my FREE aged domain consultation this April of 2019.

He booked a call with me, and we had a 30-minute call enough to discuss a few of his clarifications about this aged domain in the tech niche he got from the GoDaddy auctions.

And he’s happy with it!

Honestly, just this shoutout is more than enough as payment 🤗

But what made me even happier is that he trusted my words and work on it right away!

Just a few months after the conversation, I was surprised and super happy for him to see the results he posted like this in The Proper SEO Group...$0 to +$3,300/m In 4 Months Without Building Links.

Read on to see how he did it exactly 😎

Note that this case study is not a churn and burn strategy instead, an affiliate site making passive income and growing continuously.

The Aged Domain Strategy

Was this your first time using an aged domain? What’s your experience so far with it?

Nope, this is my third time and the best so far. Yes, not all three domains achieved the same results, but they all performed so well. A great experience, indeed.

What goal and budget did you have in mind for the site?

My main goal was to publish a huge number of articles to cover almost all keywords, queries, questions that people search for in this niche (the same niche as the domain was about), and then see what could happen. The budget I decided to invest was $5,000 to $6,000 for the first 6 months.

What are your criteria for buying aged domains? Metrics, process, etc.

The first thing I look for is RDs. Referring domains is the most important factor when it comes to purchasing aged domains. I usually look for at least 150+ RDs with several authority domains. Then the trust flow should be 10+.

Then I get deep with the domain using Ahrefs, I look for Anchor texts, to make sure it doesn't have any spammy anchors. Then I look for the backlinks and where they were pointed. I usually prefer that most backlinks go to the main homepage with branded anchor texts.

Then I check with Web archive to check the history of the domain to make sure it hasn’t been used as a PBN or something like that before.

How did you go about reviving this aged domain? How did you maximize all of the “link juice” of the aged domain?

I focused 100% on relevancy. We published articles on the exact topic that the domain was about. And for maximizing the link juice, I 301 redirected all the pages existed on the domain to the homepage. Also, rebuilding is a good solution, but I preferred to point all of them to the homepage.

When did you start working on it?

April 2019

How many months did it take you to see keywords and traffic to start coming in?

Two to three months ‘till July 2019.

How did you plan the site structure?

I didn’t do SILOs or anything like that. Just normal categories like “Buyer’s Guides, Reviews, How To’s.”

What is the price range of your products?

$50 to $400 (average).

Is your site more of a niche site (home page ranking for money keyword) or an authority site in the niche covering different categories?

Authority site in a certain niche (DON'T try to rank with your homepage on (BEST X) type of keywords if the top 10 results are ALL normal posts)

On-Page SEO Strategy

What’s your on-page strategy?

Well, in any affiliate site, we usually have money articles and supporting articles.

I tried to do something like 50% money articles & 50% supporting articles to build as many internal links as possible to my money articles.

And for my on-page structure I do the following for my round-up articles:

H1 - Title

Introduction

H2 - Main Keyword

H3 - Product 1

H3 - Product 2

H2 - What to look for when buying this product?

H2 - Bottom Line

What is the key to finding good niches? Is your niche a big market?

My niche is a big market for sure, I would say that I usually look for products that are easy to sell and can be found with almost anyone you know. I prefer to look on Amazon and see the number of reviews on that type of product.

What was your keyword strategy?

I use two main strategies for getting ideas for my keywords.

The first is basically spying on my competitors by using Ahrefs. Second is using the keyword explorer feature in Ahrefs as well. Both lead to the same results most of the time.

I don’t avoid any money keyword, whenever I see a good money keyword with a good amount of searches (+500 monthly searches on Ahrefs), I publish an article about it. I used to avoid “difficult keywords” back in the days, but right now, you never know. Maybe Google would prefer your result over other big sites. It happened to me several times.

The only thing I avoid is (super long-tail keywords) these keywords are usually variations from other big keywords, I prefer to publish a decent big article and try to target these very long-tail keywords inside the article rather than writing several articles trying to target each and every long-tail keyword which usually cause “keyword cannibalization” and I’m not a fan of the KGR thing by the way.

And definitely, my main money keywords is Best X, Best X for Y, Best X under $$$$.

Can you explain how do you go with your KW research? What’s your requirement in picking certain KWs?

Here was my amazing content team comes. I’ve a team consisting of copywriters, content editors, two VAs, & a technical manager. They basically start with keyword research. We start by focusing on low competition keywords at the beginning, then later on, we focus on the harder keywords. And as I mentioned above, I usually try to stick to 50% money articles and 50% informational articles.

My main content strategy is focusing on both “quality” & “quantity,” and quality doesn’t mean “perfect” English only, it’s more about how useful & precise is your piece of content to the user. Your article should be providing the right answer for the users’ queries. I see many people using “fluff content” to increase the word count. This is a huge mistake.

Google is getting better and better in understanding the content these days.

What was the Search Volume of your most trafficked keyword?

+6500 searches / m on Ahrefs.

How did you decide on the length of the article?

I don’t really mention a certain number of words to my writers, but for informational articles, I never go below 700 words. And for the money articles, usually, it becomes something between 2,000 to 5,000 words by default.

I like to use SurferSEO tool as well to have a quick look at the average number of words to the top 10 results and make sure that my article is within that average.

The length of the content doesn’t really matter as long as you’re not too far from the top results.

Do you ever spend time updating the content? Are you worried about your pages not being as good as they could be?

Yes, all the time. I really focus on content more than anything else. I always ask my content editors every now and then to revise the money articles and check all the technical information & update the products if any product is currently unavailable on Amazon or a new version of it got released.

Also, sometimes, I hire professional copywriters to provide me full feedback on my writers on content and see what we can improve and to get fresh eyes to review my content team performance overall.

How many articles did you publish so far? And at what frequency?

Almost 160 articles. From April 2019 to July 2019, we published more than 100 articles, then 60 articles from August to November.

When did you start adding new content to the site, instantly or waited a period after acquiring domain?

Instantly after acquiring the domain.

Any internal linking tips for the content?

Take care of anchor texts you’re using while creating your internal links. Yes, you can easily fall in the trap of over-optimizing your anchor texts in your internal links. I would recommend reading Matt Diggity’s guide on internal links anchor texts.

Also, I want to stress how important are internal links, they really get things going if you created them properly. Try to hire a VA to create a spreadsheet where you can track your internal links (quantity, anchors).

What type of content gives you the most conversion? Single product reviews or roundup articles?

Roundup 100%, especially for physical products (Amazon for example). They perform way better than single reviews.

For product roundup posts, how many internal links do you usually have? Did you publish a review of each product then add internal links for that in the roundup post?

I usually publish individual reviews, yes, but I don’t pass internal links for all of them from my roundup articles. I don’t want the readers to get distracted with many links. But I do the reverse, I pass internal links from all of my individual reviews to my roundup articles.

What's your anchor text strategy for links? What kind of anchors did you use for links and the ratio between brandable, keyword-rich, and naked URLs? Idea.

I don’t use exact match anchors at all. I classify anchors into two categories. One is (keyword anchors). This is any anchor that’s related to the keyword and (non-keyword anchors). I usually try to keep my keyword anchors below 10%.

Pro tip: Instead of using exact match anchors, try to use the title of the article, it’s safer & contains the money keyword.

Are you using Schema on your site?

Nope, but I want to give it a try soon.

[thrive_leads id='1120']

Off-Page SEO

How did you plan your link building strategy? When did you start with link building, and with what frequency?

In October 2019, we started an outreach campaign and were able to get a good amount of guest posts & editorial links.

I’m looking for a 30+ contextual link per month right now. I plan to focus on outreaching.

What kind of links are you specifically targeting, and in what percentage?

Guest posts + editorial links (niche edit placements). No certain percentage, I just buy whenever I found a good opportunity.

Note: Here’s a case study on how my client got high-authority guest post links (Up to 70+ DR) for free.

What are your metrics when it comes to targeting sites for link building?

The only metrics I look for is Ahrefs traffic. I look for sites with good amount of traffic. Preferably +1,000 visits/mo on Ahrefs.

Monetization Strategy

What’s your monetization strategy? How do you decide if you’d go for Amazon affiliate or other affiliate programs?

Only Amazon affiliate ‘till now. Soon I will be adding Ads to my informational articles.

The Results

Mahmoud already shared everything about ranking an aged domain to get this figure in 6 months:

Now let’s see the numbers involved in this case study 😉

What’s the actual financial break down of all the costs involved to execute this project?

The domain from Auctions: $830

My content team expenses: $6,000 for 200,000 words (including writing, proofreading, editing & publishing on WordPress)

Siteground Hosting: $30/m

Pretty much, that’s it.

I didn't include the cost of the links because I find it irrelevant yet as it didn't contribute that much from the site's success.

What's your ROI from the website so far?

So far, the site made $12,400 from Amazon US, UK & Canada Affiliate programs from July 2019 to November 2019 from an $800 domain.

The ROI is at 75.39%.

Can you share screenshots of traffic and revenue?

This is Amazon US revenue screenshots only, there is UK & Canada revenue as well, which is 15% to 20% of US earnings.

I use clicky instead of GA.

July 2019 Data

Traffic:

Revenue:

August 2019 Data

Traffic:

Revenue:

September 2019 Data

Traffic:

Revenue:

October 2019 Data

Traffic:

Revenue:

November 2019 Data

Traffic:

Revenue:

Wrap Up

What's your next plan to grow this website?

More content & proper links campaigns. I want to focus on building quality links next period to maintain and scale the site along with publishing quality content all the time.

What do you think is the risk of using aged domain based on your experience?

Using aged domains to build a money site can make a huge difference. It’s an awesome technique to skip the long period of sandbox and get a strong push in the beginning. But yes, there is a risk that the domain doesn’t work well (as expected) it can happen.

But to minimize that risk, I would recommend spending enough time searching in the history of the domain to make sure it’s 100% clean and not spammed & then keep it in the SAME niche. I saw many failed aged domain experiences due to changing the niche.

You can’t create a Mattresses affiliate site on an aged domain that was about environmental changes. As obvious as it seems, I still see many marketers trying to do the same.

Also, buying directly from trusted vendors like Serpnames would definitely get you a decent domain with a clean history in many categories. It saves you a lot of hassle.

This is a special group of affiliate marketers who are serious about getting their hands on to the best amongst the best aged domains available in the market right now 👊

Take a look at what your experience be like upon joining the waitlist ❤

A member enjoying reading the email ❤
Member's reaction after getting the domain first in an extremely hot niche 🙈
First-time member getting the perfect domain of his choice 😉
My affirmative response ❤
The battle of who's the fastest 💪

Going back to the case study 🙈

Aside from his operational content service, Mahmoud is also currently working on building outreaching service dedicated to affiliate sites.

Their main goal is to make these two services the BEST at their price points.

Since the latter service is currently in the development phase, those who might be interested can just leave an email on his personal website: https://meetmahmoud.com or his FB profile page.

So that's it 🤗

I hope you learned a lot in his experience ranking an affiliate site.

Oh and btw, if you need help with SEO aged domain strategy, you can personally reach out to me via email or Skype or Facebook, or LinkedIn anything you want, and let's be friends ❤

I'd be so happy to help you, always 😊

Rooting for your happiness,

Sumit, Your Go-Giver Guy ❤, Bansal

P.S. I also asked a few more questions to Mahmoud about his recommended online tools in ranking his website successfully, the mistakes he made along the journey, and how does he find good writers.

Would you like to know his answers? You can get it here...

Hey there, Sumit here again…

The last time I published an article, I talked about the detailed guide on aged domain SEO.

Now I’m back with our very first case study on SerpNames for The Rebirth Technique. First, I would like to ask something...

Does this sound like you?

If you’re looking for the exact aged domain strategy that’ll give you a better chance of ranking in Google, then this one’s for you!

This case study will walk you through the overall process of how my client revived our aged domain in the health niche and...

Excited? Well, what you'll see in a bit is his actual strategy 😉

But first, let me start this with his journey.

The Background Story

Last year, one affiliate marketer reached out to me, asking for an aged domain.

According to him, he heard about utilizing aged domains from a specific FB group he’s in, so he thought to give it a try. But he’s a little skeptical about it, so he wanted to do a little experiment from it.

“The reason I bought several domains from SerpNames is because I’ve researched and read about other affiliates using aged domains to kickstart their affiliate sites. That’s why I wanted to test it out for myself with this domain.”

A few months later, he came back to me, asking for MORE and MORE domains! And in exchange for a case study, I gave him a huge discount.

But that’s not the end of the story!

Little did you know, this case study has almost become an empty promise because of the unexpected turn of events.

This was supposed to be published three months ago, but this client (a good friend of mine), had gone missing.

He’s not replying to our emails and chats anymore, so I really thought it was the end of our story.

But then last month, I saw him bought a domain from us using another account (which was a surprise) and on the second purchase this month, I just thought to send him an email...

Then he responded!!! True enough, he has his personal reasons why he ignored me for months.

Here’s his honest reply...

You're probably thinking that I am not able to share the actual website in this case study, and you would be right.

If you're not comfortable or accepting of that, I totally understand. It's tough to talk about case studies at times without potentially hurting the results of the site in question.

But for you who wants to see the actual strategy, then let’s get started, shall we?

Note: This client wasn’t able to note all things from the start, so this will not be a step-by-step case study of what he did but rather a Q&A setup. I asked him several questions about his strategies to give you ideas. But should you be asking for more details about his approach, then feel free to share that one in the comments below 🙂

The Aged Domain Strategy

What goal and budget did you have in mind for the site?

My initial budget was $5,000, including the domain purchase, publishing content, and link building. But because of the success, I decided to invest more than expected in the site after a couple of months.

What are your criteria for buying aged domains? Metrics, process, etc.

I mostly look at RD's (authority sites), and I do a Wayback of the aged domain. I always try to buy aged domains from companies or start-ups that went broke. These are former companies that received fund capital but failed their business model. These websites have high authority in Google's eyes and also have some legit business citations.

(The site has 200+ powerful RD’s from high authority sites as shown above)

One major criterion to watch out for is always to focus on topical relevance. So if you buy a former health site -> make a health site out of it.

In the last few months, I've seen people using aged domains in a completely irrelevant niche trying to build a health site out of it. They rank very fast, but after a while, they get caught in Google's eyes.

A good example is this:

RULE #1 ALWAYS STICK TO THE NICHE 

That site used irrelevant aged domain, so even if it has a strong backlink profile, they got punished by Google because they clearly messed up by building a site not relevant to its former niche.

How did you go about reviving this aged domain? How did you maximize all of the “link juice” of the aged domain?

I have around eight money pages, which make me the most money. I redirected the old RD's to these pages to mix up the link juice. This way, these pages get high-authority backlinks with generic anchor text.

After that, I ordered niche edits, Guest posts, and some PBN links to these pages. This way, you have a good mix of safe, natural-looking backlinks.

When did you start working on it?

November 2018

How many months did it take you to see keywords and traffic start coming?

It took at least two months to get keywords ranked and starting to get traffic.

How did you plan the site structure?

I use a silo structure for this site, so basically domainname.com/category/post-name.

On-Page SEO Strategy

What’s your on-page strategy?

I use Surfer SEO to optimize every post. Highly recommended. Just follow their audit tutorial. They will give you recommendations on how to optimize the keyword density of your article, the ideal length (if you add/remove some words), etc...

What was your keyword strategy?

I own a large health site that used to have 150k visitors monthly before the Medic Update on August 2018. The site got hammered, so that’s why I also launched other health sites. I knew which keywords were low-medium competitive, so I focused on those same keywords. After a couple of months, I scraped another top-ranking health sites in Ahrefs and Kwfinder to find additional keywords.

Can you explain how do you go with your KW research? What’s your requirement in picking certain KWs? 

I use kwfinder.com. I scrape the first ten sites ranking for a certain keyword. Then I check the sites in Ahrefs to see which keywords have an OK search volume and how they can be monetized.

Can you tell us your content creation strategy?

I have a team of writers that I trust, and they know how to write quality content. I used to have an authority site in health (200k+ traffic), which got destroyed in the Medic update, so I knew which keywords were profitable once I rank them.

I started with a batch of 60 keywords (1,500 words). 

What's the ratio of commercial vs. info content for your content planning?

90% commercial (money pages) and 10% informative articles (for interlinking purposes).

What's the average length of the article you go for?

Between 1,000-1,500 words. I don't focus anymore on "the longer, the better." Google wants relevant information in your article. So if you can give all the information in a 1,000-word article, no need to make it 2,000. Google will know when it's stuffed with non-relevant topics.

Do you ever spend time updating the content? Are you worried about your pages not being as good as they could be?

I own 15 sites, and I use the same team for all of the content. The last Google updates all of my sites improved in rankings because my writers know how to follow Google's guidelines for content. I don't really update content after publishing (only if Surferseo tells me to).

How many articles did you publish so far? And at what frequency?

160 in total, as of now, we add around 40 articles monthly right now.

Any internal linking tips for the content?

Rather aggressive on this, let's say 80% exact match anchor text.

What's your anchor text strategy for links? What kind of anchors did you use for links and the ratio between brandable, keyword-rich, and naked URLs? Idea.

Rather aggressive, I start with a 50% exact match - 50% generic. The reason for this is because the money pages already have the aged generic RD's pointing to them.

Off-Page SEO Strategy

What was your link building strategy?

After publishing content, I waited for at least three months before link building. I used some PBN’s to test the site. When it took off, I added around 60 high-quality guest posts, niche edits, and some PBN rentals to increase rankings.

When did you start with link building, and with what frequency?

Started two to three months after publishing the content, 30 links monthly.

What are the average metrics of links you buy?

I look mostly at traffic, the most important factor for links. I rather have a site with 2,000 traffic and a few links than 500 traffic and more RD's.

How many total links did you build so far? 

150 links.

What's the ratio of guest posts, PBN, and niche edits for this website? 

35% guest posts, 30% PBN, 35% niche edits.

When it comes to your link building strategy, how do you decide whether niche edits, guest posts, and PBN rentals will be pointed to what pages? (Money pages, homepage, info articles)

90% money pages and 10% informative.

The Results

So you have an idea on how to best use aged domain to also get data like this:

Now, based on the strategy discussed, let’s see the actual numbers behind this successful site.

What is the breakdown of your $5k initial budget? How much have you spent on content and link building before you decide that you're going to invest more?

$2,000 on content writing and $2,000 on links. After this investment, the site took off, so I decided to invest more in content creation and link building.

At the time of the $5,000 investment, the site was making around $500-700/month, so a breakeven point after ten months.

But of course, I know the niche I'm in and how profitable it is, so it was an easy decision for me to invest more.

What's your ROI from the website so far? Screenshots of traffic and revenue.

I would say around $40k so far, although I have lifetime commissions with my affiliate partners, so every customer that I refer has a Lifetime Customer Value of $400+

Total investment for this website:

This is the traffic from the last 28 days, Ahrefs indication is a bit off.

(Ahrefs’ traffic details)

(Actual site traffic)

If you’re wondering about the performance of his keywords, here’s the screenshot:

How much is the site’s monthly revenue right now? Can you share the screenshot of your income as well? 

These are the lifetime commissions so far for the niche I'm in. For this site, I'm at 7k/month now. 90% of commissions are for a certain health niche, the other 10% are other affiliate programs.

Wrap Up:

What are the A-Z online tools that you used to rank this website successfully

What are the mistakes you made and what did you learn from them?

I wasted some money on link building for keywords, which gave me wrong monthly search volumes. These keywords are ranking good but don’t get a lot of traffic anymore because the “hype” of these products is already over.

In the health niche, products get launched every week. Some products get 50k monthly search volume and four months after the hype is over, and it gets like 500 searches. For these new products, I don't rely on kw tools because they are inaccurate.

What's your next plan to grow this website?

Publishing high-quality content and some white hat link building.

What do you think is the risk of using aged domain based on your experience? 

I don't see much risks, as long as you play by the book. I saw sites redirecting multiple aged domains to one target site, this is of course a red flag, in my opinion.

As long as it looks like you rebranded a former authority site, I think you will fly under the radar.

What would you say to other affiliate marketers who are on the fence of using an aged domain but is afraid of the risk? Or currently not seeing success? 

Today it takes longer and longer to build sites from scratch from new domains. Time is money in this business, so I personally don't build any more sites from new domains, I always use aged domains. 

The benefits outweigh the advantages. Time is money in this business. You can buy strong aged domains starting at $500. That's a small investment you can easily make for an ROI after three months in a profitable niche.

[thrive_leads id='665']

The Takeaways:

I hope with this case study, you’ve gotten a better picture of how to best use aged domains.

And before I end this, I’d like to share a few of my best takeaways for this discussion that I want you to keep in mind...

  1. Buy aged domains of previous companies as they have high authority in Google's eyes and also have some legit business citations.
  2. Always focus on topical relevance, so buy aged domains in the same niche, like buying a former health site and making a health site out of it.
  3. Redirect old RD's of the aged domain to your money pages, so they get high-authority backlinks with generic anchor text.
  4. Rather aggressive, go with 50% exact match and 50% generic anchors on link building and internal linking with 80%+ exact match anchors.
  5. Focus more on commercial content, rather than informational articles.
  6. Focus on writing concise quality content instead of writing unnecessary long articles. Google can find irrelevant contents easily.
  7. For the first few months, focus on publishing lots of articles before starting with link building. Building one link a day is safe in this case.
  8. Don't go for products if the hype is over. Use Google trends to find if they’re still in trend or not.

But that’s not all!

I reached out to a few SEOs for their insights about the website’s performance and fortunately, two of them responded 🙂

First is a newfound friend whom I discovered to be a generous guy!

I only took a quick look at the website so please don't take the following as being part of in-depth analysis, but the site certainly appears to be as ranking as well as this case study claims.

Ahrefs data backs it up, and it even ranks for some very broad keywords with high search volume.

I think it should be added that while this is a site in the health space, it's on the very fringes of the niche.

For instance, it isn't going to be covering "The benefits of Vitamin C" anytime soon. I won't say much more out of respect for the owner’s privacy, but I imagine some health site owners might be annoyed reading this case study, so they should keep in mind it's incredibly niche and specific (and more than likely covering terms they aren't).

avatar

Glen Allsopp

from Detailed.com

And we have another take from my good old friend 🙂

Good article! I’m 100% with you on only using relevant domains. This would protect you in the long-term!

avatar

Tung Tran

from CloudLiving.com

So that’s it.

If you have questions in mind, feel free to ask in the comments below. I don’t think my client would join in the discussion, so I'll do my best to answer them. But we’ll compile all your questions for him and will ask him directly.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Rooting for your own success,

Sumit

When was the last time you got your guest posting opportunity for FREE?

Back in the day when it used to be a respectable thing? Probably around the 1970s?

Or just never?

If that’s the case then...

I won’t be surprised at all when right now, you’re already “happy” paying fees for as long as you get the backlink you want.

word image

But what if...

What will you do?

Read this case study until the end and see exactly how this affiliate marketer…

Authority Site #1:

authority site 1

Authority Site #2:

authority site 2
rapport building process

Note: He had to stop his email outreach campaign because he had more than enough content queues to work on.

And not just that...

At the end of this blog post, you’ll be getting actionable tips like...

Now let’s dive straight into the details.

[PHASE #1] THINK OF GUEST POSTING THIS WAY AND YOU WILL START TO GET HIGHER RESPONSE RATE IN NO TIME

Before we start…

I want you to define what is guest posting for you.

A link building strategy for SEO? One way to gain brand exposure and to establish authority? Or a great opportunity to build relationships with the webmasters? (perhaps long-lasting friendships?)

What do you think?

Definitely, guest posting is a nice strategy to build links for SEO purposes.

And that’s exactly the main reason why guest posting has been abused abruptly.

It becomes more of a spammy link building practice for SEO rather than what it used to be before.

Let’s take what Matt Cutts (then Head of Webspam at Google) said about guest posting, The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO:

decay and fall of guest blogging

(Note: You might want to check what spam email looks like to see if it’s something you’re doing all wrong)

Have you noticed?

Despite this announcement in 2014, guest posting up to now is still one of the best methods to build links for SEO.

It’s just that this time, it becomes harder than ever to make the webmasters say yes for your guest posts.

In a little while, I’ll be showing you the ethical way to do guest posting outreach that gets higher response rates...

But first, I want to redefine guest posting for you.

If you want to succeed in getting a free guest post on high authority websites, make sure to read this carefully.

Guest Posting is the practice of contributing an article to another blog to help the owner write good quality content and deliver pure value to their audience.

In exchange, the writer could gain exposure which is a great head start (even a milestone) to get moving ahead to the next level of success.

That in itself is the real reason why we have guest posting today.

It’s more than just links you’ll get for SEO.

So stick with it!

Don’t be that kind of spammers who only think of themselves.

Always come from a place of help and consider building lasting relationships more than just a one-time transaction.

Just this time, forget about the links. Focus on the webmasters and their audience!

Remember it’s not about what you’ll get but more on what they’ll gain when you do a guest post.

You’re the one asking for it after all.

And you’ll be surprised how powerful this strategy gets when you already gain their trust.

Because it will be a lot easier this time to gain backlinks, generate traffic, and engage with their target audience in the long run.

So how will you do it the right way?

How To Build Genuine Connections The Natural Way

Prospecting...Networking…Email outreach…

Are these some of the terms that back you off every time you hear them out?

As you know it’s really time-consuming. Maybe you’ve tried it once but never worked out or it doesn’t just come naturally when you do it yourself.

Sound familiar?

Now let me show you this surefire approach when it comes to building lasting relationships with authority webmasters.

The ones who will actually give you all out support because you already broke the wall and established rapport with them.

The 4-Step Process To Effective Networking Approach

1.Prospecting

Finding the right influential people around your niche is a must to make sure you’re both targeting the same audience.

And here’s how you can spot authorities in your niche:

Step#1: Signup or login to Buzzsumo (a free account is enough for now).

Step #2: Click the “Influencers” tab, type in the niche you’re interested at into the search bar and click the “Search” button.

influencers tab

Step #3: Start the prospecting process. Make a copy of this tracker to record all the details and feel free to add more details you think are necessary.

prospecting process

You can sort it by page authority, domain authority, # of followers, Retweet Ratio, Reply Ratio, Average Retweets, and Instagram Authority.

Note: You might want to consider the reply ratio as it will be a necessary factor that will determine how engaged they are with their followers.

Step #4: After qualifying whom you will connect with, follow them on social media.

Now prospecting done, what’s next?

2. Value Giving

To make the 3rd step a lot more effective…

Don’t skip this part!

This is where the stalking, visibility, and rapport building stage come in.

Imagine you received an “unsolicited” email from a stranger, will you care enough to read it?

I’m sure you won’t!

And for you not to be a total stranger from their end, here are some of the ways you could give value and stand out from the rest:

Now tell me, do you think after doing all of these will you still be labeled as some random spammer who only thinks of his own gain?

I guess not!

Then here comes the challenging part...

3. Email Outreaching

How do you actually write an outreach email that gets opened by the powerful people in your niche?

Okay…

As I’ve told you earlier, Value-Giving Stage will make this process easier to do for as long as you built rapport already.

Now I will show you the right email structure that gets high success rates even when you’re a nobody.

Step #1: Initiate the first move

The golden rule when it comes to sending an email outreach: Don’t ever start it with an ask!

Instead, introduce yourself and talk something about the webmasters’ post that you really love. Compliment and appreciate their effort with gratitude.

(This way, he would think of you as a genuine reader)

And always end it with an interesting question because your goal is to make him engaged and reply back with an answer.

Step #2: Build rapport

When the webmasters reply to you that means you accomplished your previous goal.

On this step, your goal is to make them trust you.

Be as genuine as possible when you do this. Connect with them and provide value.

Say you can suggest challenging topics he could write for their audience and discuss why it will be helpful for them.

Remember to always make their workload easier by coming from a place of help as one of his valued audience.

Again ask open-ended questions.

Step #3: Wait for the perfect timing

Don’t ever ask for the guest post when you feel like it’s not yet the right time to do it.

So when do you know if it’s the best time?

It’s when you finally make him open up for a collaboration or it seems like asking them for a guest post does feel very natural for you.

Your goal on this step is to make them open up for a chance to work together.

You’ll get a higher chance of achieving your goal here when you focus on giving value to their audience.

Next is how to react when they politely declined...

4. Sustainment

When the webmasters don’t respond at all or just decline your offer, the rule of thumb is…

Respect their decision and don’t take it against them personally.

Rather, keep in touch with them and look forward to a great long-term relationship because...

The best relationships are still those built over years, remember?

So these are the 4-step process to an effective networking approach.

While this might seem a tedious and long-term strategy, this is definitely the right way to build a lasting relationship with authority webmasters.

Links, mentions, and other SEO related strategies will come next when you’re successful with this process.

Now if you want to master your networking skill ( which is definitely must-have expertise for marketers) you might want to consider NicheHacks Insider where Stuart teaches how to easily network, outreach and build relationships even if you’re introverted, anti-social or shy.

You’ll learn all of this by simply being a tribe member of his NicheHacks Insider 😉

(Definitely all worth your time to check it out. You’ll be surprised at what more Stuart could share for your marketing success)

Now that we’re done discussing the full extremes of the guest posting strategy...

Coming up next is the case study where I’ll be showing you the middle ground of the process.

Yes, the easier way to ask for a guest post that includes a creative and clever approach to rapport building.

[PHASE #2] THE CASE STUDY: FAST AND SCALABLE OUTREACH APPROACH THAT WILL HELP YOU GET A QUICK BIG YES

For you to be successful when you do this strategy I’ll share next, here are some of the things you need to remember:

Quality as always is far greater than the quantity.

Tell me, will you ever choose large numbers of emails sent for “higher chance” of getting a guest post?

Or will you prefer taking some time crafting a well-thought-out email for small numbers of webmasters and get more positive replies?

Choosing the latter will give you higher success rates rather than pissing off all the webmasters until you run out of emails to reach out to.

And guess what?

You won’t even receive a single positive response or heck no one will even care to reply to your email.

Rule of thumb: Never ever send thousands of emails without crafting a well-written email with a personal touch and without testing the water first.

Make sure you’re reaching out to webmasters because you want to showcase your expertise in that field.

Meaning, you have to be really good in that industry.

And that’s your competitive advantage over the other marketers out there wanting to guest post only for links.

Think of it this way…

Always ask yourself why should they trust you to guest post on their sites and what’s the deal if they let you in.

But what if you’re just outsourcing it to a writer?

How do you actually convince the webmasters of your expertise when in reality you’re just delegating the writing task to your writer?

Simple! Make sure you have a quality writer who is an expert on that field or might as well a content copywriter who knows how to write value-based content for their readers.

Just stick with quality!

Rule of thumb: Always put yourself into the webmasters’ shoes. This is your one-time shot so give it all in. It’s time to show what you’ve got for them.

You’re not guest posting because you only want the links. You’re doing it to nurture their audience.

You want to show your authority, share your knowledge, and help their audience in any case possible.

Don’t waste the opportunity by sending out a bunch of low-quality blog post (not even writing unique value-based content) and submitting articles you wrote for dozens of sites already.

Imagine if you’re the one to receive that kind of article, will you be happy?

Rule of thumb: Write high-quality articles that audience will actually appreciate reading and sharing.

Now it’s time to discuss the details of the case study.

Ready?

Actually, this strategy came from Chet James, SEO specialist and an affiliate marketer with niche around outdoor sports.

And this outreach campaign he shared is something new and just recently launched.

What made him shared this to us? I bet you’re curious like me!

When I asked Chet about this he says...

“Sumit has just helped me a lot. He’s given me a lot of advice so anything I could do to pay back I’m willing to do”

See how powerful giving value is? I hope you do!

Doing things out of pure generosity will take you so far. Don’t ever underestimate its power!

First things first...

Step #1: Prospecting

What he did on this part is a bit simple.

He just asked his VA to search on Google for all the relevant sites under similar industry in general (the outdoor sports) and didn’t limit it to a super niche related websites.

He asked his VA to record as many as possible he could get.

(You can do it yourself if you don’t have your VA to help you and you could try different search attempts to get more site prospects)

Also, the tool he recommends when it comes to email extraction is no other than Hunter.io for easier and faster scraping.

hunter

After the research part, his VA collected around 150 website prospects.

Step #2: Qualifying

Have you ever asked these questions...

I asked Chet about it and here’s how he qualified those 150 website details they collected:

  1. He used Ahrefs to sort those sites with the best referring domains, the best topical relevancy, and obviously the best traffic
  2. Also, he went on to go to each of the websites and make sure they pass the manual review and aren’t be seen as guest posting sites

Chet mentioned that out of 150 websites he filtered them out to 31 sites for the 1st batch of this email campaign.

Step #3: Email Outreach

When it comes to the email part, Chet’s strategy is a bit clever.

Why? That’s because he aimed to get the webmasters’ trust by showing his expertise and at the same time touching their soft spot.

How? Read on!

His goal on this stage is to stand out from the pile of outreach email, webmasters are regularly receiving.

And since the industry he’s in is a bit casual, he personalized the process and added some humor into it.

Of course, depending on the industry you’re in, you could take your time crafting a well-thought-out email (hint: put your heart into it).

And don’t forget the 3 Q’s (Quality Outreach, Quality Guest Blogger, and Quality Guest Post).

Since I can’t disclose the actual email template he used as I have to keep the niche private...

What I did is I dissected his email outreach structure and here’s how he wrote it:

straight forward

Sometimes, webmasters will appreciate it even more when you’re honest about the reason why you reached out to them out of the blue.

So state that directly.

guest post

List down at least 3 best reasons what makes you so special and why they can trust you.

You could be as creative as you can to get their attention.

Chet added a little bit of humor on this that makes it an interesting read from the webmasters’ end.

At the same time, he’s showing what he got.

Also, don’t forget to include your researching and writing skill in a way that you’re assuring them you’re not their usual guest post spammer who will send a crappy article.

Regarding the tool he used for sending out the email, he prefers using Gmass a chrome extension used for bulk sending of emails.

As I told you earlier, don’t be that kind of spammer who only thinks of what he’ll get from this guest posting opportunity.

Always come from a place of help mindset.

Take Chet’s value-based offering:

offer value upfront

Do you think it’s something webmasters will just ignore right away?

Think about it!

The little secret lies to how you could give value to the webmasters and their audience.

This is where Chet targeted the webmasters’ soft spot.

He not only laid out the reasons to be qualified as a guest blogger but also he humanized the process.

See this for example...

personal touch

It’s in our nature to respond to this kind of message genuinely.

It sends out a signal that you’re a trustworthy person and you’re not there to build a massive amount of links but to actually build evergreen relationships.

Then the last part...

Here’s how Chet ended the email...

email with impact

See how he ended it with an impact?

That’s how you should be doing it.

You could also add a P.S. section if you want.

There you go...You can start writing your own email outreach this time with this guide.

Just put in your heart into this and you’ll see how far it can go.

Of course, a well-thought-out email is still your best weapon (the one you sweat over) rather than the premade email template you just copy somewhere on the internet.

At least for now, you have this working guide that will help you 😉

Step #4: The Follow-up

One email follow-up is enough to see if they’re really interested.

According to Chet he only followed up once to those who didn’t respond to his 1st email outreach.

If you come to think of it, why waste your time and energy for someone not interested yet.

What you can do is keep the loop open and keep building relationships with them.

But when it comes to the one who said yes already...

Follow up is necessary.

Everyone’s busy and you can’t blame them if they can’t respond back to you immediately.

Don’t overthink, just make a nice creative follow up like this and you’ll see the magic...

follow up
(An email follow-up to those who said yes already)

I hope you’re getting the point of taking an extra time personalizing your email because it does matter these days…

So the overall result with this outreach campaign is a total of 9 FREE guest posting opportunities and a lifetime connection with that initial launch.

You see, out of 31 emails sent, he got 9 positive replies, 4 asking for a fee, and 1 said no.

Better than sending thousands of premade emails with barely any response at all.

That’s what I’m talking about testing the water first.

Anyway, I asked Chet about the #1 advice he could give to affiliate marketers wanting to get higher success rate on guest posting…

"There’s only one reason you’re not having success and that’s because you’re not doing it enough.

Everybody has problems and struggles but I can guarantee that you will learn a ton if you have sent a few thousand emails already.

Don’t jump out into conclusion that it’s too difficult nor this isn’t for you when you just only tried a few hundreds of emails sent because in reality you just didn’t fail enough.

I failed so much all the time but I still do it. It’s just about finding the middle ground that works for you."

-Chet James

[PHASE #3]: PRO TIPS AND ADVANCED GUIDE TO INCREASING YOUR GUEST POSTING SUCCESS

Bonus Step #1: How to make webmasters say YES even if they’re not accepting guest posts at this moment?

Have you ever tried offering money and articles for high authority webmasters but gotten no replies yet?

Now you’re a little lost on what are some creative and clever ways to get them say yes for a guest post.

Always bear this in mind...

Your money can’t go so far as everyone can just offer money that quick for a sponsored content.

This is especially true if you personally experience reaching out to high authority site that doesn’t accept payment at all.

What you can do here is to stick with how you build genuine relationships in real life like you’re courting them to say yes.

Let’s take what Yashar Ghaffarloo and his team did to get links on sites that nobody else can by doing the extra effort of knowing their soft spots.

Here’s what he answered inside The Proper PBN Group...

proper pbn group

Pretty interesting, right?

Now I want to show you how it becomes even more engaging…

chat more engaging

That’s how you actually build lasting relationships.

Bonus Step #2: How to make your own site appealing to attract guest posting opportunities from higher authority sites

Remember the real essence of guest posting?

It’s about webmasters and their audience. Period!

You have to always think of what you could provide for them and for their audience.

What I’ve told you so far is the outbound process of marketing where you’re the one reaching out.

Now I want you to know how to prepare your site for the inbound marketing where the webmasters are the one reaching out to you.

Isn’t that great when even if you’re just beginning, you will be noticed by a higher authority webmaster who will ask if you’re interested in a guest post?

That’s exactly what happened recently when Sumit received a message from a current client who just acquired Rank XL.

client

If you’re curious about Rank XL data, here’s the current screenshot as of this writing:

rank xl data

Who are we to ignore this kind of opportunity, right?

And if you wanted to know why he reached out to us, here’s what he replied to me:

client reply

See? I told you!

Webmasters never care about the links you’ll get but more on what you can share for their audience.

But how do you do it?

Make sure your site, even if it’s just starting out, is working towards giving massive value to make the webmasters see you as an expert in this field.

This way, you’ll be their solid resource when it comes to your niche.

After all you’re not a competition at all but someone they can work with and at the same time you can both benefit.

Note: You might want to invest in a content copywriter who can give justice to what your site is all about.

At least content copywriter knows how human psychology works and how they can turn your site as an authority in your chosen niche.

[PHASE #4] THE TWO GREATEST MYTHS GUEST POSTING SERVICES MAKE YOU BELIEVE ABOUT GUEST POSTING

After discussing all the details about guest posting, I want you to see the two greatest myths about it.

#1 - The only people entitled to do guest posts on authority sites are those contributors, no one else!

This is obviously a myth!

And Chet already showed you why by getting his free spot even if he’s not a contributor to those big brands.

The key is to always put your heart into it and just build a genuine relationship that will last a lifetime.

#2 - You can only do guest posts on authority sites when you pay them money

This isn’t true at all.

Hear me out…

The best quality link comes from sites which are providing valuable content to readers as this is what Google wants.

And most often than not you can't buy it with money.

Webmasters who deeply care about their audience would never ever choose low-quality articles in exchange for money.

If the webmaster is accepting money and you are getting the backlink you want then most probably everyone would be doing the same...

Now tell me, is it still the best link for you?

The best link is still the genuine relationship you sweat over!

CONCLUSION

So that’s it.

You’ve just gained the most practical and ethical way of doing guest posting.

But I’d like to remind you though...

Guest posting is a strategy that you only do in moderation and not a full-time job!

That means, don’t rely on this solely.

There are other ways you could do to supplement your other link building strategy.

You might want to check Gotch SEO’s Legit Link Building Strategy where Alan Silvestri discussed the power of using creative ideas versus tactics.

And definitely, a must-read article if you want to know the difference between strategic link building and tactical link building.

Let’s say, Chet. He exactly does strategic link building for his affiliate site by not just focusing entirely on guest posting link acquisition.

But he’s also trying different variations of expert roundups, niche edits, and outreach to Youtube channel.

Plus, his affiliate site is built from an aged domain he bought from our domain inventory. That means he already had existing backlinks from authority sites, to begin with.

So it just goes back to doing different things that work out the safer way.

That’s it. I hope you learned a thing about this post and if you could share what works out for you when it comes to successful guest posting opportunities, we love to know 🙂

Have questions? We’re here.

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