My Offline Approach - Landed Me 4 Clients....

56 replies
... Okay I lied! One of them was a referral!

So it's almost 1:30 am Toronto and I have no work tomorrow (no I don't work from home... just a day off), so I decided to post my strategy of how I landed offline clients. I want to start by saying this is by no means all my creation but after reading all the valuable info on this forum and putting some of it to work, I had some success. This is my way of giving back so I hope some of you will find this helpful.

A special thanks to GoGetta who has inspired me through his various posts to begin my offline approach.

So here is what I do...

1) Niche Research

Now you hear this all the time but it can't be stressed enough. For me this is the most important part of my strategy. I like to target business that sell a service that is at least a few hundred dollars (think rentals, repairs, fixes, etc). The reason I do this is because I don't need a ton of traffic before I can contact people to rent my site. In fact one of sites which I rent only gets 3-7 visitors a day.... targeted visitors!

2) Creating the Site

I'm not going to go into detail with this as if you are looking to sell to offline clients I assume that you have knowledge of domains, SEO etc. I choose a domain name (carefully) and create a very basic site. Here is what I do... I create the site as if it's my business. I put my phone number on it and I create a contact page where people can fill out the form with their enquiry. For example, if I create a site about house renovation (just an example, I didn't do any research on this niche), I create the site as if I'm the renovation company with my contact info.

The reason I do this is because I want to see if people are going to call/email me about this service. No sense of trying to rent a site that doesn't convert. When and if people start to call, I tell them it's the wrong number (to be honest I really don't like doing this but this is the only way I can see to test out the site). If they use the contact form then great, now I have leads that I can show a potential client that would like to rent the site. I test for at least a month.

3) Finding potential clients

What I did with the sites I rented is find people that already have existing sites. I find them to be better prospects then guys that don't have a site. Let's face it, if you have a business and don't have a website than you probably don't realize the potential so I stay away from them. So I look for sites that are on the 4 and 5th pages of Google and send them an e-mail telling them that I have a site that caters to their customer base and it gets xx amount of traffic and xx conversions. I also tell them the website URL.

I don't talk prices! I leave them my contact info and my phone number and tell them to call/email me if they are interested. I got calls by following this approach. Remember that people with sites on the 4th or 5th pages of Google probably don't see any traffic from the search engines. They do however make good prospects because they have already taken the steps of building a site which means they know (I hope) the potential power of the Internet.

4) The meeting

If they contact me by e-mail I answer all their questions and again tell them to call me. I find that if you are looking to close the sale you have to begin by talking to them on the phone to arrange a face to face meeting. Again, I try to avoid giving prices on the phone (more on prices later) and push for a meeting. Believe me, the first time I did this I was nervous before but I knew that without a meeting you can forget about closing the sale. Remember also that you are the expert and the worst that could happen is that you'll go your separate ways without renting it to that client... no big deal. We usually arrange for a common place like Star Bucks!

When I meet the client, I usually begin with some small talk. They may ask you about yourself and you can casually ask them about their business. I find that most brick and mortar business owners are social! I don't lie! I don't do this full-time (I'm hoping I will one day) so I tell them that. I don't need to lie to them and pretend I'm some BIG name company. They will sniff you out... especially if this is your first time.

I usually let them initiate the business conversation but that will depend on you. I basically tell them the same stuff I told them via e-mail. That I'm in the business of renting sites and I have a site in their particular niche that gets regular targeted visitors. I tell them that to test the site I put my phone number on it and I got xx calls and I got xx e-mails. I tell them that if they choose to rent the site, I will change the contact info on the site to theirs and give them access to the e-mail where they can check the e-mails themselves.

5) The Contract and the Price

For me, this has been the hardest part to bring into the conversation. This is where the possible negotiating starts and where business can be made or broken.

I'll start with contracts... I have none! Let me explain. I have a contract that says that they will renting site www.xxxxxxxxx.com for $xxxxx amount per months. Do a search on SEO or rent a site contract (or something like that) and you will find them. Other than that, I don't require any long term obligation from their part.

Rent the site for a month and if you like it, pay again for the second month etc. If you don't like it don't pay and I remove their info from the site and look for another client. No sense of requiring someone to sign a one year contract if they won't be happy with the service. If they are not happy believe me you will hear about it and you will probably end up terminating the contract anyway so I don't care if they sign a termed contract .

I like to live my life stress free! Keep in mind that one of the clients I work with we didn't sign anything and she pays me monthly (the irony is that she has been the one to always pay promptly). She knows... she stops paying and I stop showing her contact info on the site.... simple.

A note about the actual site

More often than not, the business owner, if they choose to go forward will want to change certain aspects of the site. I'm usually not picky here. I tell them that I'm not a web designer but if they show me what they want I can change it at no cost if its basic. I'm going for residual income and don't mind making some changes to make them happy. What I do tell them is that if they make changes that the conversions can't be guaranteed as layout may actually affect visitor response.

The Price - I know some people here may not agree with me but I have found that the $300 to $400 price range to be my sweet spot. Again I don`t have any major testing done on this but as I gain confidence and some more clients I will begin testing out some more price points. All I can say about this is that I`m happy with that price for now! I know this price will vary based on the amount of traffic and conversions your site gets but based on my own traffic and conversions I found this to be a fair price.

Why I like the rent a site model better than selling SEO services?

I have both tried to contact business for SEO and have worked with business on their SEO and I don't like doing both. I find that the response rate when you are trying to sell SEO service to a business to be much lower (NOTE: please keep in mind that I have never cold called. I always send e-mails). When you contact a company for SEO service it is most often seen as spam. Heck, my own websites are constantly flooded with e-mails about increasing my website traffic and get to be on the number one spot on Google type of e-mails so their is a high possibility that your e-mail will be viewed like that as well. Second, I find it to be way more stressful when working on someone's site. The Google Dance, their site completely dropping etc. are all stress factors for me. When I rent the site, yes I have a stake in maintaining the rankings but if something was to go wrong with the site, it's my site and they don't have to continue renting it and that's it. By no means I'm I trying to scare anyone from selling SEO services but that's when I think you may need a more thorough contract explaining that rankings fluctuate and possible remedies if the site drops or disappears.

Final Thoughts

I hope someone has found my extremely long post useful. I'm in the process of creating some more sites and will see how it goes so wish me luck
#approach #clients #landed #offline
  • Profile picture of the author Christian Sawyer
    Good stuff here bud. Thanks, I'm also shooting you a PM...

    Thanks,
    -Christian
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    Very interesting. Not something I would do personally as that kind of face to face selling just interests me none, but I could always outsource the face to face part, ha ha.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesBone777
    Great idea and its unique approach.I am also thinking of offline ads and business negotiation,it is the true targeted client indeed!
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  • Profile picture of the author rightwrite
    Thanks for the info. I have been putting together some things to target offline businesses. Your info gave me some ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Reeves
    Hi,

    Thanks for the post...offline stuff has always interested me but I've never got into it.

    This seems super-easy since I'm already experienced with websites/seo...

    Think you could answer a few missing pieces for me?

    1. What kind of keywords are you targeting? Keywords like "storage Toronto ca"?

    Obviously you can't just target non location specific keywords for this method...and it seems that the keywords that are location specific get horrible traffic (plus you have to compete with Google local search results that display the local businesses right at the top before regular results).

    Which brings me to my second question...

    2. I know you said you're renting a site that only gets 3-7 visitors per day...what would you say is an "average" amount of visitors the sites you're renting get per day?

    Maybe I'm thinking about this wrong, but for most of the location targeted keywords I see (nearby myself of course) I think I'd be lucky to get a few clicks per day at most for a #1 result after the Google local listings snatch up most of the few clicks that are there to start with.

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks for your time.

    Thanks,
    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author hommi_16
      Hey Chris

      Yes all the keywords I target are local to my surrounding area. Here is my advice, especially if you are using Google Keyword Tool (as this is what I use). I use Google Keyword Tool to get traffic ideas but don't pay particular attention to traffic numbers. You'd be surprised at the fluctuations!

      In terms of local business listings, if you get lucky (or look deep enough) there won't be too many listings (2 or 3). Also you can use the local listings to your benefit. Once you rent the site you can also add the business listing to increase traffic. I discuss these options with my clients as well.

      In terms of traffic. Believe me. 7-10 targeted visitors a day is extremely valuable to businesses, especially if you dealing with larger amounts of money ($200 +). The sites I'm working with now don't get more than 10 a day and that has been okay.

      My personal recommendation is not to pay too much attention to traffic tools. If you are in a relatively large city (or near one) then buy a couple of domains and see what happens. I'm sure I'll have some duds but for $10 domain purchases its no big deal!

      Hope this helps

      Peter

      Originally Posted by Chris Reeves View Post

      Hi,

      Thanks for the post...offline stuff has always interested me but I've never got into it.

      This seems super-easy since I'm already experienced with websites/seo...

      Think you could answer a few missing pieces for me?

      1. What kind of keywords are you targeting? Keywords like "storage Toronto ca"?

      Obviously you can't just target non location specific keywords for this method...and it seems that the keywords that are location specific get horrible traffic (plus you have to compete with Google local search results that display the local businesses right at the top before regular results).

      Which brings me to my second question...

      2. I know you said you're renting a site that only gets 3-7 visitors per day...what would you say is an "average" amount of visitors the sites you're renting get per day?

      Maybe I'm thinking about this wrong, but for most of the location targeted keywords I see (nearby myself of course) I think I'd be lucky to get a few clicks per day at most for a #1 result after the Google local listings snatch up most of the few clicks that are there to start with.

      Any help is appreciated. Thanks for your time.

      Thanks,
      Chris
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Reeves
        Originally Posted by hommi_16 View Post

        Hey Chris

        Yes all the keywords I target are local to my surrounding area. Here is my advice, especially if you are using Google Keyword Tool (as this is what I use). I use Google Keyword Tool to get traffic ideas but don't pay particular attention to traffic numbers. You'd be surprised at the fluctuations!

        In terms of local business listings, if you get lucky (or look deep enough) there won't be too many listings (2 or 3). Also you can use the local listings to your benefit. Once you rent the site you can also add the business listing to increase traffic. I discuss these options with my clients as well.

        In terms of traffic. Believe me. 7-10 targeted visitors a day is extremely valuable to businesses, especially if you dealing with larger amounts of money ($200 +). The sites I'm working with now don't get more than 10 a day and that has been okay.

        My personal recommendation is not to pay too much attention to traffic tools. If you are in a relatively large city (or near one) then buy a couple of domains and see what happens. I'm sure I'll have some duds but for $10 domain purchases its no big deal!

        Hope this helps

        Peter
        Thanks for that info Peter...might just give this a try sometime.

        Thanks,
        Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author lee stewart
    nice post mate

    lots of good ideas flying around here. especially like the rent rather than sell the site idea..

    thanks for this

    regards
    gary lee
    Signature

    If opportunity does not come knocking, Build yourself a Door...

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  • Profile picture of the author GoGetta
    Awesome buddy, also thanks for the shout out, you didn't need to do that but glad I inspired or helped you in some way!

    It is all about taking action! You can have all the methods in the world laid out in front of you, but without taking action you never succeed!

    Awesome work, now keep it going, momentum is key from here!

    GoGetta
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  • Profile picture of the author alamest
    What a great content, I think if a new person want to start a online business than I thing they need to read this content..

    Thanks for sharing this useful information about affiliate marketing business

    Alam
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    • Profile picture of the author mgkimsal
      re: the phone number.

      Might I suggest getting a skype number for a few bucks, then using that? You can just have the numbers go to voicemail, rather than answering it yourself.
      Signature

      Michael Kimsal
      http://heywords.com/ - for article writers

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    • Profile picture of the author SamuelJ
      Wow, super post! That is a cool idea , the other thing you
      may want to test is capturing the leads with a few quick
      survey questions on both an answering machine and
      contact form and then selling them to people for $10-$100
      each depending on the market.

      If you go for high value clients like insurance, finance etc
      they are happy to pay $100ea for quality leads if you put
      in the time and do your research. I know it isn't as good
      a passive, but if you need a quick injection of the green
      and folded give it a go.

      Also if you blanket a market it can be nice for the pocket
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      • Profile picture of the author hommi_16
        Originally Posted by SamuelJ View Post

        Wow, super post! That is a cool idea , the other thing you
        may want to test is capturing the leads with a few quick
        survey questions on both an answering machine and
        contact form and then selling them to people for $10-$100
        each depending on the market.

        If you go for high value clients like insurance, finance etc
        they are happy to pay $100ea for quality leads if you put
        in the time and do your research. I know it isn't as good
        a passive, but if you need a quick injection of the green
        and folded give it a go.

        Also if you blanket a market it can be nice for the pocket
        Thanks for the idea. The only issue I see is that some people won't leave a message so I won't know which one of my sites generated the lead unless they leave a message.

        In terms of selling leads, I did think of that. Even one of the people renting a site from me wanted to discuss the option of pay per lead but only wanted to pay for leads that actually became customers. Because I have no way of tracking this I declined but I do see the value from business wanting to pay per lead.
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        • Profile picture of the author SamuelJ
          Originally Posted by hommi_16 View Post

          Thanks for the idea. The only issue I see is that some people won't leave a message so I won't know which one of my sites generated the lead unless they leave a message.

          In terms of selling leads, I did think of that. Even one of the people renting a site from me wanted to discuss the option of pay per lead but only wanted to pay for leads that actually became customers. Because I have no way of tracking this I declined but I do see the value from business wanting to pay per lead.
          Yeah make sure you get the $$ for the lead not the sale unless
          they have some way of making a fool proof affiliate tracking
          system for you. And if they do ask for a lot more than the pay
          for lead price.

          You can set up your contact forms so that they ask good
          questions to make them a more qualified buyer which will
          be more valuable for the person you are selling the leads to.

          For example if you had a blinds site you could get what sort
          of blinds, style, colour, measurements etc.

          With your opt in you can make it so that it sends the contact
          details straight to your contact buyer and CC's you in on it,
          then at the end of the month you just bill them for all the
          leads and you have proof!
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        • Profile picture of the author NewbiesDiary
          Originally Posted by hommi_16 View Post

          Thanks for the idea. The only issue I see is that some people won't leave a message so I won't know which one of my sites generated the lead unless they leave a message.
          Skype phone numbers are really cheap - you could register a new one for each website (takes care of knowing where the calls come from if they dont leave a message). Then you can rent the skype number to the client along with the website - you can charge extra for this too.

          Originally Posted by hommi_16 View Post

          In terms of selling leads, I did think of that. Even one of the people renting a site from me wanted to discuss the option of pay per lead but only wanted to pay for leads that actually became customers. Because I have no way of tracking this I declined but I do see the value from business wanting to pay per lead.
          Rather than telling people they have the wrong number - take the details and tell them someone will get back to them shortly - this is extra selling power when offering your package to your prospects. "The site is converting well, we already have 6 leads, and of course these will be passed straight on to you (at no extra charge) once you rent this site."
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
    Cool post; congrats on your success!

    There is a way to do seo with just as little stress about the ranking fluctuations that may occur, not that I wish to talk you out of your model, but just as an aside for anyone interested. If you charge a monthly fee for seo, and their site drops off page 1 for more than a certain # of days in a given month, you simply refund them for that month. You prepare them in advance; explain the Google dance, but also stress how hard you work to avoid it, and emphasize the risk reversal which the refund represents. You're the one losing should you fail to deliver the ranking.

    It's virtually the same idea as them walking away from the rental, but I think if you offer a refund for months when the performance isn't up to snuff, it could make things easier, as they're more likely to stay with you, and you don't have to go find another client to replace them.
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  • Profile picture of the author BlogDesign
    Nice tips. Thanks for sharing. It can never hurt to get more clients!
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  • Profile picture of the author hommi_16
    One thing also that you have to remember is that you may want to be flexible when talking to business owners. For example, one of my clients wanted to buy the site. He said that he saw more value if the site was his as appose to renting it and it wouldn't be his after a certain period (think like renting an apartment vs. buying a condo/house).

    We negotiated for a bit but when it came down to it, I realized that if he didn't end up owning the site than we wouldn't do business. So here is what we decided on: He paid a lump sum for the site and signed on to have me maintain (SEO) for 2 years. If he breaks the contract prior to two years then I keep the site. He is paying the same amount for the SEO work that he would have paid for the rent plus he paid for the site so I actually made more money.

    Like I said before I rather just rent but when it came down to losing a client that was right there and willing to pay, I had to be flexible. Now I know that I'm thinking way to much into the future but here is my thought process. If, after 2 years he decides he doesn't want to continue with the SEO work (after 2 years he keeps the site and he doesn't have to keep me!) I can simply buy another domain and start another similar site that I can rent so no big deal... besides, if he stays for 2 years that means he's happy and he'll probably keep me anyways.
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    • Profile picture of the author velluv42
      This is such an eye opener for me and thanks for sharing. Local businesses are always hungry for work and the more leads they can get, the better for their businesses.

      Based on the sites that you are building, may I ask how many pages do you build for each site and do you also include a gallery page on the site?
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      • Profile picture of the author hommi_16
        Originally Posted by cain42 View Post

        This is such an eye opener for me and thanks for sharing. Local businesses are always hungry for work and the more leads they can get, the better for their businesses.

        Based on the sites that you are building, may I ask how many pages do you build for each site and do you also include a gallery page on the site?

        I build the pages as needed but here is the common denominator for most of my sites....

        Home
        About
        Services/Prices
        Contact

        Didn't really need to use a gallery yet but if I was building a site that required visuals I would probably add that.
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        • Profile picture of the author velluv42
          Originally Posted by hommi_16 View Post

          I build the pages as needed but here is the common denominator for most of my sites....

          Home
          About
          Services/Prices
          Contact

          Didn't really need to use a gallery yet but if I was building a site that required visuals I would probably add that.
          Thanks for the quick response.
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  • Profile picture of the author J.Agnew.JD
    Another THANKS for all the great info and ideas it generated!
    Signature

    Jack Agnew, JD, PhD

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  • Profile picture of the author 4freedom
    When you say your sweet spot is $300 to $400 - I'm assuming that is PER MONTH... not a one-up sale?
    Signature

    Rob Fore, 6-Figure Affiliate Marketing
    *** Free 5-Day Attraction Marketing Bootcamp *** Rob's Blog ***

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    • Profile picture of the author hommi_16
      Originally Posted by 4freedom View Post

      When you say your sweet spot is $300 to $400 - I'm assuming that is PER MONTH... not a one-up sale?
      Yes absolutely... it wouldn't even be worth it for me if it was a one time fee!
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      • Profile picture of the author ebookdaddy
        Just wanted to say thank you for your post. I'm always looking for different ideas on offline marketing and this is the most original one I have run across in a while. Never would have though of renting a website, what a novel idea.

        Thanks again and good luck.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alex Mensah
          Originally Posted by ebookdaddy View Post

          Just wanted to say thank you for your post. I'm always looking for different ideas on offline marketing and this is the most original one I have run across in a while. Never would have though of renting a website, what a novel idea.

          Thanks again and good luck.

          yes i would have to agree with this comment, this post is phenominal and has a lot of excellent ideas that can be implemented not only for offline but for online as well. super great post!
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  • Profile picture of the author freudianslip27
    Very cool stuff,

    One frustrating aspect of this business is that you can spend 2 months building up a client's site, have them cut you loose, and then you start over with someone else. This way you are able to maintain and build upon the work you've done if you lose a client.

    Looking at the clients I have, I'm not sure how they would feel about this approach but I'll keep it in mind as I approach new ones

    Matt
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    WarriorForum Rules!

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    • Profile picture of the author hommi_16
      Originally Posted by freudianslip27 View Post

      Very cool stuff,

      One frustrating aspect of this business is that you can spend 2 months building up a client's site, have them cut you loose, and then you start over with someone else. This way you are able to maintain and build upon the work you've done if you lose a client.

      Looking at the clients I have, I'm not sure how they would feel about this approach but I'll keep it in mind as I approach new ones

      Matt
      I'm sure that in every niche you will have people that won't accept a particular business model. I just like this because there is no anticipation from the client. If I rent a site then that means I've tested it and they get it all set up.

      With SEO, some clients may get impatient in terms of rankings so this is why I like the rent-a-site. My only worry when I rent is to keep the rankings (and the money)... I don't have to stress over a site getting penalized or sandboxed.... if they do they client won't pay but other than that, I won't have to deal with the client if his/her own site drops which I would imagine would be a much harsher conversation.
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  • Profile picture of the author AllyW
    Really interesting info, I would never have thought about renting a site to someone, it's a great idea. Thanks for the info and the food for thought!
    Signature
    Ally Woodrum
    Best Natural Cancer Cures.org for information on natural and alternative cancer treatments.
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    • Profile picture of the author swtexans
      Awesome post! This has given me some ideas about how I might kick off my offline consulting.

      Keep us posted on your success!
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  • Profile picture of the author greff
    Very interesting approach.

    Would you mind sharing how you obtain backlinks? I assume you must do that to get positioned for leads?
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    • Profile picture of the author hommi_16
      Originally Posted by greff View Post

      Very interesting approach.

      Would you mind sharing how you obtain backlinks? I assume you must do that to get positioned for leads?
      Nothing unusual. Profile, article marketing, blogs etc. And remember that I choose my niches extremely carefully
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  • Profile picture of the author dreamer111
    it is the result of your creativity.. great !!
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  • Profile picture of the author bobsstuff
    On the "WRONG NUMBER" answer, why not create a script that says, "Thank you for calling. At this time this is a marketing test or survey evaluating the local response to online information/advertising............or whatever script you can think of that makes sense to you. Close the conversation by sending them to one/three of your top rental prospects and ask them to give your site as the referal. i.e. "I'd really apprecaite mentioning our site when you call them"

    Then in your sales talk to the prospective renter, you can mention that during the survey portion of the site preparation you sent some referals there way.
    Signature
    Bob Hale
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  • Profile picture of the author cityofangels
    This model also addresses the issue of social proof. That's eliminated from the door. No talks about referrals, etc b/c you've already demonstrated that you can get a site on page 1.

    Is $300-400/month enough for you? You might want to increase your prices given what you offer. Maybe even double your prices. Know your worth and charge accordingly. Remember, people spend hundred$$$ per week on ppc and don't get the same amount of traffic--so be fair to yourself. Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author chrisgarrett
    I have been considering doing this with some of the domains I have lying around. Once you have built a site like this you have choices of monetization, lead generation, rental, advertising, etc - the key is getting it built and testing the traffic
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  • Profile picture of the author AP
    Not bad for someone who seems so young. May I ask how old you are?

    I'll post comments below to help you be more effecient, less face to face, increase your prices, and have a better lifesyle.

    Hope this helps.

    Originally Posted by hommi_16 View Post

    So here is what I do...

    1) Niche Research

    Now you hear this all the time but it can't be stressed enough. For me this is the most important part of my strategy. I like to target business that sell a service that is at least a few hundred dollars (think rentals, repairs, fixes, etc). The reason I do this is because I don't need a ton of traffic before I can contact people to rent my site. In fact one of sites which I rent only gets 3-7 visitors a day.... targeted visitors!

    This is a key element to your success. There are "Riches in Niches."

    Go after High Ticket-High Margin industries, aka, lawyer, cosmetic surgeon, home remodeling, etc...

    In your situation at $400 a month, a client doesn't need much traffic to recoup his cost. 7 hits per day/210 per month, convert 5% and that's 10 products or services sold. If your client makes $400 per sale he has made $4,000, you are getting 10%. Client makes 90% on business he wouldn't of had without you.


    2) Creating the Site

    I'm not going to go into detail with this as if you are looking to sell to offline clients I assume that you have knowledge of domains, SEO etc. I choose a domain name (carefully) and create a very basic site. Here is what I do... I create the site as if it's my business. I put my phone number on it and I create a contact page where people can fill out the form with their inquiry. For example, if I create a site about house renovation (just an example, I didn't do any research on this niche), I create the site as if I'm the renovation company with my contact info.

    The reason I do this is because I want to see if people are going to call/email me about this service. No sense of trying to rent a site that doesn't convert. When and if people start to call, I tell them it's the wrong number (to be honest I really don't like doing this but this is the only way I can see to test out the site). If they use the contact form then great, now I have leads that I can show a potential client that would like to rent the site. I test for at least a month.

    3) Finding potential clients

    What I did with the sites I rented is find people that already have existing sites. I find them to be better prospects then guys that don't have a site.

    Absolutely, never go after people who don't have a site. Leave this to Newbies.

    Let's face it, if you have a business and don't have a website than you probably don't realize the potential so I stay away from them. So I look for sites that are on the 4 and 5th pages of Google and send them an e-mail telling them that I have a site that caters to their customer base and it gets xx amount of traffic and xx conversions. I also tell them the website URL.

    You can start at Page 3. Nobody is getting traffic on page 3 either.

    I don't talk prices! I leave them my contact info and my phone number and tell them to call/email me if they are interested. I got calls by following this approach. Remember that people with sites on the 4th or 5th pages of Google probably don't see any traffic from the search engines. They do however make good prospects because they have already taken the steps of building a site which means they know (I hope) the potential power of the Internet.

    Why not lease them the site for 30 days free (puppy dog approach). Take the puppy home for the weekend, show the kids and neighbors. If you don't like the puppy by Monday bring him back for a Full refund.

    Give them the site for FREE, no contracts, no nothing. Direct as much traffic during the next 30 days as possible. Then contact them around day 27 and tell them YOUR price. Take it or leave it.

    4) The meeting

    NO meeting. Traffic speaks for itself. You either want it or not. NEXT!

    The "Fear of Disconnect" learn to Love it. If you don't claim this site I'm going to YOUR competitor down the street.

    5) The Contract and the Price

    Basic contract, NO long term agreement, let them cancel at anytime. Just basic info that states YOU own the site and they are leasing on a month to month basis.

    For me, this has been the hardest part to bring into the conversation.

    There will be no conversation, either they got more calls, more sales or they didn't.

    This is where the possible negotiating starts and where business can be made or broken.

    I'll start with contracts... I have none! Let me explain. I have a contract that says that they will renting site www.xxxxxxxxx.com for amount per months. Do a search on SEO or rent a site contract (or something like that) and you will find them. Other than that, I don't require any long term obligation from their part.

    That's good. Make the entry barrier as Easy as possible, give them an easy way out. Sales will increase dramatically.

    Rent the site for a month and if you like it, pay again for the second month etc.

    First month is FREE, puppy dog.

    If you don't like it don't pay and I remove their info from the site and look for another client. No sense of requiring someone to sign a one year contract if they won't be happy with the service. If they are not happy believe me you will hear about it and you will probably end up terminating the contract anyway so I don't care if they sign a termed contract .

    I like to live my life stress free! Keep in mind that one of the clients I work with we didn't sign anything and she pays me monthly (the irony is that she has been the one to always pay promptly). She knows... she stops paying and I stop showing her contact info on the site.... simple.

    A note about the actual site

    More often than not, the business owner, if they choose to go forward will want to change certain aspects of the site. I'm usually not picky here. I tell them that I'm not a web designer but if they show me what they want I can change it at no cost if its basic. I'm going for residual income and don't mind making some changes to make them happy. What I do tell them is that if they make changes that the conversions can't be guaranteed as layout may actually affect visitor response.

    You know 100x more than they do. Do them a favor and don't allow changes that will effect Conversion. This effects YOU and YOUr monthly income.

    The Price - I know some people here may not agree with me but I have found that the $300 to $400 price range to be my sweet spot.

    Make sure they are generating 5 to 10x more income then they are paying YOU. If they can make $10,000, charge $997. $5,000 = $497, and so on.

    Again I don`t have any major testing done on this

    I did, lol.

    but as I gain confidence and some more clients I will begin testing out some more price points. All I can say about this is that I`m happy with that price for now! I know this price will vary based on the amount of traffic and conversions your site gets but based on my own traffic and conversions I found this to be a fair price.

    If you are working a Niche, then YOU should know their average ticket size, gross margins, etc... it ain't hard to do some research.

    Why I like the rent a site model better than selling SEO services?

    Because SEO sucks.

    I have both tried to contact business for SEO and have worked with business on their SEO and I don't like doing both. I find that the response rate when you are trying to sell SEO service to a business to be much lower (NOTE: please keep in mind that I have never cold called. I always send e-mails).

    Way lower. Trying giving away your site for 1 month free and see how easy it is.

    I actually post their info, drive traffic, then send them an email, letter, telling them I've given them a FREE site for 30 days. Please prepare yourself for additional Calls and Walk ins. I'll contact you in 30 days.

    When you contact a company for SEO service it is most often seen as spam. Heck, my own websites are constantly flooded with e-mails about increasing my website traffic and get to be on the number one spot on Google type of e-mails so their is a high possibility that your e-mail will be viewed like that as well. Second, I find it to be way more stressful when working on someone's site. The Google Dance, their site completely dropping etc. are all stress factors for me. When I rent the site, yes I have a stake in maintaining the rankings but if something was to go wrong with the site, it's my site and they don't have to continue renting it and that's it. By no means I'm I trying to scare anyone from selling SEO services

    Please keep selling SEO
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    • Profile picture of the author hommi_16
      AP

      Thanks for all your comments. I`m 27 BTW ... not that young!

      Finding return on investment for the client will probably help me get a better price. I do like your free month idea and will try that.

      Question for you...

      Do you think it`s okay to put some company info on your own site without consulting them first. Would that open you to any trouble if they act harshly (ie. say you diluted their company image by placing their info on your site).
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    • Profile picture of the author cityofangels
      AP, I thought it was better to lock your clients into contract (6 mons or 12 mons), that way you don't have to worry about the problems of collecting on a monthly basis. A colleague said she used that route with this rent-a-site model b/c the clients got to be a pain in the rear when working with them on a monthly basis versus telling them that they are in a 6 or 12 mon contract. What are your thoughts?
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  • Profile picture of the author Juan R.Villà
    Hommi_16

    What software do you use to make your websites?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    All the best
    Juan
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    • Profile picture of the author hommi_16
      Originally Posted by Juan R.Villà View Post

      Hommi_16

      What software do you use to make your websites?

      Thanks in advance for your help.

      All the best
      Juan
      NVU... it`s free and I like it.
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    • Profile picture of the author NewbiesDiary
      Originally Posted by Juan R.Villà View Post

      Hommi_16

      What software do you use to make your websites?

      Thanks in advance for your help.

      All the best
      Juan
      I find WP is brilliant for ease of installation, use and SEOability. I can put together a full site very quickly with a great professional looking theme (I have a full All Access Pass with ithemes - best investment ever!)

      Just my 2 cents worth
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      • Profile picture of the author hommi_16
        Originally Posted by NewbiesDiary View Post

        I find WP is brilliant for ease of installation, use and SEOability. I can put together a full site very quickly with a great professional looking theme (I have a full All Access Pass with ithemes - best investment ever!)

        Just my 2 cents worth
        I never used wordpress before I thought about it but instead I create my own using NVY. If I want something a little better for the eyes I google free html or CSS templates and modify them on NVU.

        I`ll check out ithemes.

        For all the wordpress gurus out there.... is SEO that much better with wordpress. I`ve heard of the plugins but never really looked at it deeply.
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        • Profile picture of the author cityofangels
          Originally Posted by hommi_16 View Post

          I never used wordpress before I thought about it but instead I create my own using NVY. If I want something a little better for the eyes I google free html or CSS templates and modify them on NVU.

          I`ll check out ithemes.

          For all the wordpress gurus out there.... is SEO that much better with wordpress. I`ve heard of the plugins but never really looked at it deeply.

          WP is easy to install and update. It's great for SEO too. I learned WP in a day and I'm not super techie. I know more than average person, but it was easy to learn. Not to mention, there are so many great Youtube videos to help you learn how to install, understand WP. I wouldn't use anything else now.
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        • Profile picture of the author NewbiesDiary
          Originally Posted by hommi_16 View Post

          I never used wordpress before I thought about it but instead I create my own using NVY. If I want something a little better for the eyes I google free html or CSS templates and modify them on NVU.

          I`ll check out ithemes.

          For all the wordpress gurus out there.... is SEO that much better with wordpress. I`ve heard of the plugins but never really looked at it deeply.
          I've found I can climb the search engines much quicker and easier with WP. I run a WPMU site and find I can hit page one of G with my targetted keywords within a day (and YES I stay there - this isn't the usual hit page one then disappear for 6 months LOL).

          I recently created a site for a client and used WP - they were hitting page one and stayed there within a few days, they are still there.

          There are a few "magic" plugins I install without even thinking about it causes they're so great, then there are sooooo many new ones coming up all the time.

          Plus WP is incredibly easy for my clients to use themselves.

          I'm a HUGE WP Fan!
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  • Profile picture of the author jficarro
    Thanks hommi, I have been thinking about this model for some time. I run things more traditionally and get people complaining about ownership even at 1250. (even though that is 1/4 of what I used to charge)

    Obviously it would be way better to "rent" a site.

    I especially appreciate your suggestions on price points.

    You say you pick your niches "carefully". Is this based on how effective and lucrative a leads generating site will be for them, competition, how easy it is to seo, or what. If you don't mind commenting on that, I'd appreciate it.

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author Juan R.Villà
    Hommi and NewbiesDiary, thanks a lot for your comments and great information.

    Best wishes ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
    What's the population of your city, if you don't mind me asking, that you're charging $300-$400 per month?

    Along with that, I just wanted to throw my $.02 in here. I used to sell Yellow Page advertising.

    People who buy display advertising, depending on the population and distribution of the phone book, can be paying more than $300-$400 per month for their phone book advertising. In reality, they don't even have quantifiable ways to measure whether the ad is giving them ROI or not, not like website statistics can.

    Don't get me wrong, plenty of studies show that display ads in the phone book do work. These companies wouldn't keep their ads if they didn't feel they weren't doing them any good. I'm just trying to help you guys who want to try this justify the cost to the business owner you approach.

    When you build these sites, the best people to contact are people who are in your phone book. I'm not talking about light listings, which are just the name and phone number. You want to go for those that have display ads. Here is a break down of who is paying the most.

    If the company included some time of magnet with the phone book, they are paying a crap load. It's usually a plastic surgeon or law firm that does this. I'm talking HUGE MONEY. Especially if you live in a mid-large city.

    The front cover. The companies on the front cover are paying the next highest rates.

    The back cover

    The inside front cover

    The inside back cover

    Then from there the cost is dictated by size of display ad and whether it is color or black and white. A full page color ad costs more than a full page black and white ad.

    Your best bet is to find the companies that have the biggest ads under their heading, because they are paying a decent amount per month for that ad. Most likely, they'll have a website displayed in the ad. If not, just check to see if they have one. They may have had one made after the ad got published in the phone book.

    Also, chances are, if you live in a mid-large city you probably have several phone books. Check to see if they advertise in more than one. If they do, that's even better yet. Especially if they have a display ad in every single one. They're paying a lot of money per month for that advertising.

    Knowing that they advertise in the phone book is great ammunition for negotiating. Especially if they have ads in more than one phone book. If they try to give you a hard time about your price, you can just look at them with a slight smile and say:

    "Look mr business owner, I know you advertise in phone book x, y, and z with display ads. (If you really want to drive the point home bring the books with you and have their ads marked with a paper clip, pull out the phone books and open them up to their ads in each phone book) I know you're paying a heck of a lot more for these ads per month than what I'm offering you here. The difference is, I offer you quantifiable results unlike these ads which offer you no way to measure your ROI.

    They'll respect you for doing your homework. If you really want to know for sure, call your yellow page directory and ask them what the rates are for the ads. They probably won't tell you, they'll probably want to set up an appointment. That's okay, meet with a rep, after all, you are a small business yourself, you may actually want to consider yellow page advertising sometime down the road. Get the rates from the rep at the meeting.

    HTH

    P.S.

    The same ad in the phone book goes up every year. It's called "rate." Every year the ad the business had the previous year goes up a small percentage. So, don't be afraid to work "rate" into this business model. If the company rents the site off of you for a year, don't be afraid to go to them and tell them the rates are going up for this year. Especially if they've been getting good results don't be afraid to do this. If they advertise in newspapers and yellow pages, they're used to rates going up yearly.
    Signature
    "When you do something exactly wrong, you always turn up something."
    -Andy Warhol
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    • Profile picture of the author hommi_16
      I live in a big city... in the millions!

      I did look at the yellow pages online and you bring up some very nice points about how you can use that info during the negotiating process.

      In the mean time, I have officially made a mental note not to buy any more domains until I either rent out the rest of the ones I own or consider them duds (I have about 5 that I`m sitting on right now and diligently working on their SEO).

      Thanks for your info

      Originally Posted by Jason_V View Post

      What's the population of your city, if you don't mind me asking, that you're charging $300-$400 per month?

      Along with that, I just wanted to throw my $.02 in here. I used to sell Yellow Page advertising.

      People who buy display advertising, depending on the population and distribution of the phone book, can be paying more than $300-$400 per month for their phone book advertising. In reality, they don't even have quantifiable ways to measure whether the ad is giving them ROI or not, not like website statistics can.

      Don't get me wrong, plenty of studies show that display ads in the phone book do work. These companies wouldn't keep their ads if they didn't feel they weren't doing them any good. I'm just trying to help you guys who want to try this justify the cost to the business owner you approach.

      When you build these sites, the best people to contact are people who are in your phone book. I'm not talking about light listings, which are just the name and phone number. You want to go for those that have display ads. Here is a break down of who is paying the most.

      If the company included some time of magnet with the phone book, they are paying a crap load. It's usually a plastic surgeon or law firm that does this. I'm talking HUGE MONEY. Especially if you live in a mid-large city.

      The front cover. The companies on the front cover are paying the next highest rates.

      The back cover

      The inside front cover

      The inside back cover

      Then from there the cost is dictated by size of display ad and whether it is color or black and white. A full page color ad costs more than a full page black and white ad.

      Your best bet is to find the companies that have the biggest ads under their heading, because they are paying a decent amount per month for that ad. Most likely, they'll have a website displayed in the ad. If not, just check to see if they have one. They may have had one made after the ad got published in the phone book.

      Also, chances are, if you live in a mid-large city you probably have several phone books. Check to see if they advertise in more than one. If they do, that's even better yet. Especially if they have a display ad in every single one. They're paying a lot of money per month for that advertising.

      Knowing that they advertise in the phone book is great ammunition for negotiating. Especially if they have ads in more than one phone book. If they try to give you a hard time about your price, you can just look at them with a slight smile and say:

      "Look mr business owner, I know you advertise in phone book x, y, and z with display ads. (If you really want to drive the point home bring the books with you and have their ads marked with a paper clip, pull out the phone books and open them up to their ads in each phone book) I know you're paying a heck of a lot more for these ads per month than what I'm offering you here. The difference is, I offer you quantifiable results unlike these ads which offer you no way to measure your ROI.

      They'll respect you for doing your homework. If you really want to know for sure, call your yellow page directory and ask them what the rates are for the ads. They probably won't tell you, they'll probably want to set up an appointment. That's okay, meet with a rep, after all, you are a small business yourself, you may actually want to consider yellow page advertising sometime down the road. Get the rates from the rep at the meeting.

      HTH

      P.S.

      The same ad in the phone book goes up every year. It's called "rate." Every year the ad the business had the previous year goes up a small percentage. So, don't be afraid to work "rate" into this business model. If the company rents the site off of you for a year, don't be afraid to go to them and tell them the rates are going up for this year. Especially if they've been getting good results don't be afraid to do this. If they advertise in newspapers and yellow pages, they're used to rates going up yearly.
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  • Profile picture of the author KristieDean
    Thanks for the information!





    QUOTE=hommi_16;1500882]... Okay I lied! One of them was a referral!

    So it's almost 1:30 am Toronto and I have no work tomorrow (no I don't work from home... just a day off), so I decided to post my strategy of how I landed offline clients. I want to start by saying this is by no means all my creation but after reading all the valuable info on this forum and putting some of it to work, I had some success. This is my way of giving back so I hope some of you will find this helpful.

    A special thanks to GoGetta who has inspired me through his various posts to begin my offline approach.

    So here is what I do...

    1) Niche Research

    Now you hear this all the time but it can't be stressed enough. For me this is the most important part of my strategy. I like to target business that sell a service that is at least a few hundred dollars (think rentals, repairs, fixes, etc). The reason I do this is because I don't need a ton of traffic before I can contact people to rent my site. In fact one of sites which I rent only gets 3-7 visitors a day.... targeted visitors!

    2) Creating the Site

    I'm not going to go into detail with this as if you are looking to sell to offline clients I assume that you have knowledge of domains, SEO etc. I choose a domain name (carefully) and create a very basic site. Here is what I do... I create the site as if it's my business. I put my phone number on it and I create a contact page where people can fill out the form with their enquiry. For example, if I create a site about house renovation (just an example, I didn't do any research on this niche), I create the site as if I'm the renovation company with my contact info.

    The reason I do this is because I want to see if people are going to call/email me about this service. No sense of trying to rent a site that doesn't convert. When and if people start to call, I tell them it's the wrong number (to be honest I really don't like doing this but this is the only way I can see to test out the site). If they use the contact form then great, now I have leads that I can show a potential client that would like to rent the site. I test for at least a month.

    3) Finding potential clients

    What I did with the sites I rented is find people that already have existing sites. I find them to be better prospects then guys that don't have a site. Let's face it, if you have a business and don't have a website than you probably don't realize the potential so I stay away from them. So I look for sites that are on the 4 and 5th pages of Google and send them an e-mail telling them that I have a site that caters to their customer base and it gets xx amount of traffic and xx conversions. I also tell them the website URL.

    I don't talk prices! I leave them my contact info and my phone number and tell them to call/email me if they are interested. I got calls by following this approach. Remember that people with sites on the 4th or 5th pages of Google probably don't see any traffic from the search engines. They do however make good prospects because they have already taken the steps of building a site which means they know (I hope) the potential power of the Internet.

    4) The meeting

    If they contact me by e-mail I answer all their questions and again tell them to call me. I find that if you are looking to close the sale you have to begin by talking to them on the phone to arrange a face to face meeting. Again, I try to avoid giving prices on the phone (more on prices later) and push for a meeting. Believe me, the first time I did this I was nervous before but I knew that without a meeting you can forget about closing the sale. Remember also that you are the expert and the worst that could happen is that you'll go your separate ways without renting it to that client... no big deal. We usually arrange for a common place like Star Bucks!

    When I meet the client, I usually begin with some small talk. They may ask you about yourself and you can casually ask them about their business. I find that most brick and mortar business owners are social! I don't lie! I don't do this full-time (I'm hoping I will one day) so I tell them that. I don't need to lie to them and pretend I'm some BIG name company. They will sniff you out... especially if this is your first time.

    I usually let them initiate the business conversation but that will depend on you. I basically tell them the same stuff I told them via e-mail. That I'm in the business of renting sites and I have a site in their particular niche that gets regular targeted visitors. I tell them that to test the site I put my phone number on it and I got xx calls and I got xx e-mails. I tell them that if they choose to rent the site, I will change the contact info on the site to theirs and give them access to the e-mail where they can check the e-mails themselves.

    5) The Contract and the Price

    For me, this has been the hardest part to bring into the conversation. This is where the possible negotiating starts and where business can be made or broken.

    I'll start with contracts... I have none! Let me explain. I have a contract that says that they will renting site www.xxxxxxxxx.com for $xxxxx amount per months. Do a search on SEO or rent a site contract (or something like that) and you will find them. Other than that, I don't require any long term obligation from their part.

    Rent the site for a month and if you like it, pay again for the second month etc. If you don't like it don't pay and I remove their info from the site and look for another client. No sense of requiring someone to sign a one year contract if they won't be happy with the service. If they are not happy believe me you will hear about it and you will probably end up terminating the contract anyway so I don't care if they sign a termed contract .

    I like to live my life stress free! Keep in mind that one of the clients I work with we didn't sign anything and she pays me monthly (the irony is that she has been the one to always pay promptly). She knows... she stops paying and I stop showing her contact info on the site.... simple.

    A note about the actual site

    More often than not, the business owner, if they choose to go forward will want to change certain aspects of the site. I'm usually not picky here. I tell them that I'm not a web designer but if they show me what they want I can change it at no cost if its basic. I'm going for residual income and don't mind making some changes to make them happy. What I do tell them is that if they make changes that the conversions can't be guaranteed as layout may actually affect visitor response.

    The Price - I know some people here may not agree with me but I have found that the $300 to $400 price range to be my sweet spot. Again I don`t have any major testing done on this but as I gain confidence and some more clients I will begin testing out some more price points. All I can say about this is that I`m happy with that price for now! I know this price will vary based on the amount of traffic and conversions your site gets but based on my own traffic and conversions I found this to be a fair price.

    Why I like the rent a site model better than selling SEO services?

    I have both tried to contact business for SEO and have worked with business on their SEO and I don't like doing both. I find that the response rate when you are trying to sell SEO service to a business to be much lower (NOTE: please keep in mind that I have never cold called. I always send e-mails). When you contact a company for SEO service it is most often seen as spam. Heck, my own websites are constantly flooded with e-mails about increasing my website traffic and get to be on the number one spot on Google type of e-mails so their is a high possibility that your e-mail will be viewed like that as well. Second, I find it to be way more stressful when working on someone's site. The Google Dance, their site completely dropping etc. are all stress factors for me. When I rent the site, yes I have a stake in maintaining the rankings but if something was to go wrong with the site, it's my site and they don't have to continue renting it and that's it. By no means I'm I trying to scare anyone from selling SEO services but that's when I think you may need a more thorough contract explaining that rankings fluctuate and possible remedies if the site drops or disappears.

    Final Thoughts

    I hope someone has found my extremely long post useful. I'm in the process of creating some more sites and will see how it goes so wish me luck [/QUOTE]
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  • Profile picture of the author consult4u
    I do use this rent model just with a bit of a twist.

    The twist being i charge on a per lead basis.

    It is based on phones calls and emails.

    I was initially charging a 1k setup fee with that being a draw against leads.

    The 30 days free model works very well.

    To find out what to charge for leads i simply do some quick research on what
    other lead gen companies are charging and make sure that mine are selling for top
    $$$ and rinse and repeat.
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  • Profile picture of the author YanKirby
    Great info here hommi! Definitely a keeper. Will staple this on my mind when I open up for offline clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author CameronCrosse
      Good stuff guys...

      I realize this may be common sense for most, but for those that haven't gotten very far in the website rental approach, there is a super easy way to at least double profits from sites you rent - or even if you have already rented them...

      Upgrades. :-)

      you can easily charge another $100 a month to install and maintain a lead capture / autoresponder service.

      you can charge $100's more to get the same site ranked for 3 additional keywords.

      you can upsell social media packages (hot buzz word for web savvy clients).

      you can put audio or video on the site.

      you can create that audio and video for them.

      etc, etc, etc...

      Cameron
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  • Profile picture of the author Hugh
    NewbiesDiary,

    If you don't mind, which are your "magic" WP plugins?
    Thamks,

    Hugh
    Signature

    "Never make someone a priority in your life who makes you an option in theirs." Anon.
    "Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon." -- Winston Churchill

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    • Profile picture of the author NewbiesDiary
      Originally Posted by Hugh View Post

      NewbiesDiary,

      If you don't mind, which are your "magic" WP plugins?
      Thamks,

      Hugh
      I always install these plugins...

      add to any subscribe
      all in one seo pack
      feedburner
      google analyticator
      google sitemap generator
      seo title tag
      twitter tools
      wp db backup

      and depending on what I'm doing, I'll add others - but those are the ones I start with.
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