Case Study

Expired Domain Case Study (Post #1)

So we’re going to have a series for building out an expired domain.

Around two months, I purchased an expired domain for $5,000 in the parenting niche, and I have decided to build out a website on the domain as opposed to using it as a 301 redirect.

So, what did $5,000 fetch me?

Let’s look at what Ahrefs shows up:

How about Moz:

Not bad, right? The domain is definitely packed with a whole bunch of referring domains. Let’s now take a look at what sort of backlinks point to it:

You know, I’ll even export the top 200 Referring Domains from Ahrefs and link to the file:

Referring domains for the expired domain

This domain has hundreds of strong contextual backlinks, so its definitely suitable for a good old case study.

Domain’s prior history

So the history of the domain is the tricky part, in terms of not really solidifying the niche.

I’ll explain.

Without giving up too much information, a large corporation wrote a letter on this domain, that addressed a problem (parenting related), and asked that another major corporation give an answer.

Well, this letter was widely circulated and many large editorial websites ran a story on it.

The vast majority of the backlinks are to the homepage, with the rest going directly to this “letter”.

Nearly 20% of all the backlinks had an anchor that used “letter” somewhere in it, and 4% of the backlinks were brand anchors.

So, my one concern moving forward is whether or not Google will really attribute all these backlinks to the parenting sector, and label this website as an “authority” in the space based on these backlinks.

How will I monetize?

I plan on monetizing with:

  • Products or services from affiliate networks
  • Amazon Associates
  • Display ads

The order that I listed my monetization approach, is the same order that I plan to employ them.

I know that with the right buyer intent keywords, it’s possible for the website to make some good coin with some specific products/services from affiliate networks.

As the website grows, and traffic begins to hit 1,000+ visitors daily, then we can start looking towards pushing out more content for Amazon Associates.

Lastly, when or if the site gets to 10,000+ visitors daily, then we can actually incorporate display ads and make money off them.

I do plan on having content for Amazon Associates from the beginning, but we’re not going to be as focused on those pages as we would be with other types of affiliate offers.

Do I plan on building backlinks?

We’re not going to build any backlinks for a while. The domain is strong as it is, and with proper interlinking, I do expect to see us ranking well for countless keywords.

If let’s say 6 months from now, we are on the bottom of the 1st page or on the 2nd page for some really juicy keywords, then it can make sense to build a few guest posts to those pages.

What’s my content strategy?

We’re going to divide content into three categories:

  • Informative posts
  • Product lists
  • Supporting posts

I hired a writer that used to work as a teacher, and then as a guidance counselor in her career. I am paying her $25/hr to produce content, and this is content that we do not plan to monetize, but content that brings unique value to the website, and has the possibility of earning organic backlinks.

On the flip side, I hired another writer for $15/hr that is responsible for the product lists and supporting posts. Since I did share my niche already, I will share an example keyword target:

She will put together an article ranking the “Best Baby Cribs” on the market.

With that product list, she will create several supporting articles, such as:

“Are baby cribs safe?

“Does a baby need a crib?

“Can cribs be painted?

All those articles and the product list page will be interlinked to one another.

I will be adding content myself, especially when it comes to reviewing or promoting non-Amazon related affiliate offers.

What’s my budget?

I am going to dedicate $10,000 to the website before analyzing the performance. If the domain is dead in the water after $10,000 worth of content, and several months in between, then I may need to look into shelving this project altogether.

Personally, I don’t believe it will come to that, but I do have to draw a line in the sand somewhere.

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