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I'm in the franchise business

Here's a brief look at what I like to do when purchasing multiple domains. I'll give 3 example domains I registered that are focused on a common theme - franchise businesses. I'll also provide some advice about what to buy and what not to buy when it comes to buying domain networks. Future posts will go into further detail about monetization, automation and more.

Building a Domain Network

The most important thing to look at when buying domain networks is that you must have a legitimate reason to buy each and every name. If your keyword is Plumbing and you end up with PlumbingTonight.net because it contained the keyword plumbing and was available for registration, you will live to regret the purchase. Each domain you purchase should have a purpose. If the searches aren't there, if the CPC isn't there, if there's no development potential, no end user potential, if the extension is just plain rancid, Don't Buy The Domain! So the same rules apply to buying a domain that will be of a network of sites as if you were buying just one domain that stands alone.

Diversity and Commonality

We want our domain network to have similar, but distinct content. What this will allow us to do is build relevant back links between our sites that search engines love. But more importantly, we can help drive users around our network of sites as well, but the only way you'll get them to click on a link on your JoeThePlumber.com website is to make sure that it directly relates to JoeThePlumber - such as: PlumbingSupplies.com or FixItYourself.com/Plumbing. If you include a link for video poker, you may get some clicks, but search engines will likely look at you funny and send their traffic someplace else.

There's one caveat though that you need to keep in mind - don't bite the hand that feeds you. What I mean is if you get paid, say, $5 for each time a user clicks on a Plumber's listing and instead, you direct your traffic to click FixItYourself.com where you only make $1 *if* the visitor clicks a link to a home repair superstore - you may want to think about not putting up the link after all. If you are just trying to build backlinks - you can often put the link in the least likely to be clicked place, and search engines will still consider it valid... just don't hide it or try any black hat stuff as you'll just get your whole network banned from the search engine itself.

Uniqueness Counts

I promised I'd talk about my domains - so here they are: FranchiseBusiness dot TV, How-to-franchise dot com, SportsBarFranchise dot com and BestFranchise dot info.

Isn't that a nice eclectic mix? You've got a .tv, a .info, a straight up dot com and a dot com with not one, but two! dashes. So how in the world did I pick these out? Well, I chose them based on having distinct qualities that made it possible to interrelate them and yet still have unique content and end users for each.

FranchiseBusiness dot TV will be a great site for multimedia content about what's going on the in the franchise business. It'll have tips, hot trends and tutorials on things like up selling and cross selling. The keyword phrase Franchise Business got 300k unique searches in the US last month with $5-6 CPC. The .me is the only other available extension and I don't think that makes much sense in this context... but if you want to see if it's available, type it in up on the domain search box at the top of the page! FranchiseBusiness dot TV can also easily link to...

BestFranchise dot info. You know I love .info domains, but this is a great one. 100k+ searches last month with nearly $5 CPC - this is a great "directory" style name that can cover listings of every type of franchise. This is the kind of name that you can really rev up the direct ad sales too as everyone wants to be the best.

How-to-Franchise dot com takes a different angle on the franchise business. It's going to talk about how to take an existing business and expand it into a franchise. This is lower volume, but there's still 20,000 plus searches a month for the phrase "How to Franchise" and the best part is, the CPC is nearly $11. I'm going to be focusing on franchise consultants as a major source of advertising for this sight as they will pay big money for each new lead.

Finally, we have the lonely little dotcom - SportsBarFranchise. What am I doing with this little 1k search per month, $3 CPC site? Well, not only does it have the ability to be linked in to the above sites in a number of ways, but I foresee this being flipped (for big money if I can get it some decent traffic) to an end user. Having very targeted sites also means you'll likely have much more targeted traffic, which advertisers love!

Start Small

The last point here is to start small - that's 4 names when I could have registered 20 at least. Bide your time and choose wisely. Once you've gotten the best of the available reg fee names, look around to see what names might be for sale at Sedo or dropping from SnapNames. One or two here and there and you'll eventually hit the sweet spot. What that sweet spot is depends on the network, but I like to have around 10-15 sites when it's all said and done with at least two of those being directory style listings and a handful of smaller, more focused names. Having at least one .TV in the mix is also nice for video content, linking and embedding.

Domain networks allow you to attack a niche in multiple ways. That means it's best to know the niche, know the audience and have a plan for each site in the network. Just having lots of names that all have the same keyword isn't good enough. Focus and planning will allow you to capitalize on your site's traffic and page rank in ways individual/stand alone sites can't. I hope this guide has been helpful! If you've got a network you're proud off, show it off in the comments.

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