Build-in-Public – Episode 3- Rank N Rent

Building websites can be a great way to make money online. Over the next few days, I’ll discuss various strategies for doing this effectively. Today, I’m particularly excited to talk about a method known as “Rank and Rent,” which involves creating a website, getting it to rank for certain keywords, and then renting it out to businesses looking for leads.

The idea is simple: you build a site focused on a specific local service, like a plumber or chiropractor in your city, get it high on search engine results, and then rent it out to relevant businesses. This can be quite profitable, especially in high-end niches like home remodeling or roofing, where contractors are willing to pay more for valuable leads. I’ll also cover important tips like choosing the right domain, using WordPress for ease of use, and optimizing your content for better search engine rankings.

Key Takeaways

  • “Rank and Rent” involves creating websites and renting them out for monthly fees.
  • Focused niches and high-end services can yield significant profits.
  • Use WordPress and SEO tools to optimize your sites for better rankings.

30-Day Challenge Overview

John launches a 30-day challenge focusing on “building in public.” He plans to cover topics related to website creation and monetization, some of which he has experience with and others that are new to him.

John discusses a lucrative method called “rank and rent.” The idea is to build a website, get it to rank for specific keywords, and lease it to a local business, generating income. For example:

  • Best Plumber in Pittsburgh
  • Pittsburgh Chiropractor
  • Best Nail Salon in Pittsburgh

John believes targeting local niches can be less competitive but still profitable. He notes that renting websites to contractors in high-end niches like home remodeling can bring in substantial revenue, sometimes up to $10,000 a month, given the high value of the jobs.

John has acquired an aged domain, ideal for local rank and rent. He emphasizes using WordPress for building sites due to its flexibility and extensive plugin support. Initially, he plans to generate content using an AI writer, then optimize it using tools like Surfer SEO and Hemingway app to ensure readability and proper keyword usage.

This process aims to balance search engine optimization while making the content accessible for readers, aiming for a readability score of grade eight or lower for clarity and better search engine parsing.

Daily Routine and Late Start

Each day, John usually kicks off his routine at 5:00 am sharp. However, sometimes life throws a curveball. This morning, he found himself engaged in a captivating Netflix mini-series about twins on different diets. Before he knew it, time had slipped away, leaving him with only 20 minutes to get his son ready for school.

Despite the late start, John managed to keep things moving. After dropping his son off, he planned to dive into the topic of building and monetizing websites. He had recently discovered a potential goldmine in an old, unused domain, which fit perfectly into a niche he was eager to explore—local Rank and Rent.

To clarify, Rank and Rent involves creating and optimizing a website to rank high in search results for specific local keywords. Once the site gains traction, it is rented out to local businesses who benefit from the leads it generates. John aimed to apply this model with services like plumbing, chiropractic care, or nail salons, focusing on Pittsburgh, PA.

The potential earnings from such a venture range widely. High-cost services such as home remodeling or roofing could fetch up to $10,000 per month. Lower-cost services might bring in around $500 per month.

For this, John favored using WordPress due to its user-friendly interface and extensive plugin support. A strategic combination of tools like Surfer SEO and Koala, an AI writer, would form the backbone of his content creation and optimization process.

John also found it helpful to run his content through the Hemingway app. This tool ensures the readability of his articles remains at an 8th-grade level or easier, benefiting both search engines and human readers alike. The ultimate goal was to generate well-optimized, easy-to-read content that effectively captures traffic and converts it into valuable leads for local businesses.

Netflix Miniseries Distraction

John started his day at 5:00 am, which is his usual routine. Instead of diving into his work right away, he got caught up in a Netflix miniseries about twins on different diets. He didn’t manage to finish the show yet, but it consumed a good chunk of his morning. Eventually, he had to tear himself away to focus on his tasks, especially since he needed to take his son to school and get some work done before that.

John plans to spend the next few days discussing various methods of building and monetizing websites. His current interest lies in the “Rank and Rent” model—building a website, ranking it for specific keywords, and renting it out to businesses. This method seemed lucrative and sparked his interest, especially since he found an aged domain that hadn’t been used for spam.

For local Rank and Rent, he considered targeting service providers in his vicinity, like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Examples included local businesses like plumbers, chiropractors, and nail salons. The idea was to create a site, rank it well, and then partner with a business to provide them with leads. Pricing for such rentals could range from $500 to $10,000 per month, depending on the industry.

John emphasized the importance of choosing the right niche and balancing competition and potential traffic. He shared insights on the profitability of different local services and highlighted his process using tools like WordPress, Surfer SEO, and the Hemingway app to optimize content for better search engine ranking. By making his content easier to read, he aimed to improve both search engine understanding and user experience.

Upcoming Content Tease

Over the next few days, there will be a focus on different methods to build and monetize websites. This will include local rank and rent strategies, a promising area for generating steady income. Here, sites are created, optimized for local search terms, and then rented to businesses looking for leads.

Key Points to Expect:

  • Exploring domains: Using aged domains for better ranking potential.
  • Monetization models: Monthly rental of sites vs. cost-per-lead.
  • Building techniques: Strategies to create and optimize sites effectively.
  • Tools and plugins: Using WordPress, Surfer SEO, and Hemingway App for best results.

Examples of Local Markets to Target:

  • Plumbers in a specific city
  • Chiropractors
  • Nail salons

Potential Earnings:

  • Low-end niches: Approx. $500 a month.
  • High-end niches like home remodeling: Up to $10,000 a month.

Stay tuned for more in-depth discussions on these exciting topics.

Building Websites and Monetization Strategies

There are many methods to build websites and make money from them. One approach gaining popularity is called “rank and rent.” This involves creating a website, optimizing it to rank high in search engine results for specific keywords, and then renting it out to businesses. For example, a website ranking for “best plumber in Pittsburgh” could be rented to local plumbers who want more customers.

John has plans to work with age domains, which are websites that have been around for a while. These can be useful because they might rank higher in search results due to their established presence. It’s important to ensure these domains haven’t been used for spam in the past.

He prefers using WordPress for website creation. WordPress is free, highly customizable, and has a vast array of plugins that can enhance the site’s functionality. Some people criticize it for being built on PHP, but its ease of use and plugin support make it a solid choice.

John plans to optimize content with tools like Surfer SEO and Hemingway. Surfer SEO helps by analyzing top-ranking content and suggesting improvements. Hemingway can then adjust the reading complexity, aiming for an eighth-grade reading level for better engagement and clarity.

Ranking and renting websites can be particularly lucrative in high-value industries like home remodeling, where contractors can afford to pay more for leads. On the other hand, lower-margin businesses like hair salons might only manage a smaller budget for such services.

In sum, by focusing on the right niche, using reliable tools, and creating optimized, easy-to-read content, it’s possible to build and monetize websites effectively.

Rank and Rent Concept

Definition and Mechanics

The rank and rent model involves creating a website, optimizing it to rank well on search engines for specific keywords, and then renting it out to businesses. Businesses pay to get the leads generated from the site’s high ranking. For example, a local plumber might pay monthly for the top spot or for every lead they receive through a contact form on your site.

Finding a Good Domain

Finding a quality domain is crucial. An aged domain that hasn’t been used for spam can provide a good starting point. Domains that are over a decade old, like ones from 2007, are particularly useful because they’ve had time to build credibility. It’s important to verify that the domain has not been used previously for spam to avoid penalties.

Local Rank and Rent Advantages

Focusing on local markets, like a city or town, reduces competition compared to global rankings. This approach allows you to cater to local businesses such as plumbers, chiropractors, or hair salons. These businesses benefit from local SEO and have the potential to pay for acquiring more customers through your site. The rental fees can range from $500 to $2,000 per month, depending on the business profile and industry.

Picking a Specialty

Factors to Consider

When deciding on a niche, there are a few critical points to think about. First, the level of competition plays a huge role. Choosing a high-demand area like “best protein powder” might seem tempting, but it’s also highly competitive and dominated by top SEOs. Instead, focus on a less crowded local market where you can make a bigger impact.

Second, the niche should have enough local businesses willing to pay for the leads you generate. For instance, a local plumber might be eager to pay for leads, especially if they lack their own robust online presence. Balancing competition and demand is key to finding a profitable niche.

Third, think about the potential revenue. High-profit services, like home remodeling or roofing, can pay more for leads because their overall job revenue is much higher. On the other hand, niches like hair salons may generate more volume but at a lower cost per lead.

Examples of Nearby Services

Here are some ideas for local services that can be profitable for a rank and rent model:

  • Plumbers: “Best plumber in Pittsburgh”—services that are always in demand.
  • Chiropractors: “Pittsburgh chiropractor”—professionals who often seek more clients.
  • Nail Salons: “Nail salon in Pittsburgh”—popular and often locally focused.
  • Home Remodelers: “Home remodeling Pittsburgh”—high-ticket jobs with significant revenue potential.
  • Roofing Services: “Roof repair Pittsburgh”—essential services with large job values.
  • Bathroom or Kitchen Remodelers: “Bathroom remodel Pittsburgh”—services with substantial project costs.

Balancing the competition level with the potential client interest and the revenue they can generate is crucial for success. Focusing on these elements will help you pick a niche that’s not only manageable but also profitable.

Traffic and Competition Evaluation

Evaluating Traffic Potential

To create a successful rank and rent website, it’s important to choose a niche that combines reasonable traffic potential and moderate competition. Aiming too high, such as nationwide niches like “best protein powder,” pits a developer against seasoned SEO experts with extensive resources. Thus, it’s better to focus on local niches and services.

For instance, if targeting a city like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one could consider profitable services like plumbing, chiropractic care, or nail salons. These services not only ensure steady demand but also make local businesses potential rent clients. Local niches typically have fewer competitors, making it easier to dominate search results and funnel valuable traffic towards the site.

Traffic vs. Competition Balance

One critical point in evaluating traffic is balancing it with competition. Smaller towns might have less traffic, but the competition is also lower, making it easier to capture leads without heavy SEO investments. On the other side, larger cities offer higher traffic volumes but at the cost of increased competition.

City SizeTraffic PotentialCompetition LevelPotential Rent Earnings
Small TownLowLow$500 – $1,000
Medium-Sized CityModerateModerate$1,000 – $5,000
Large CityHighHigh$5,000 – $10,000

Profit and Niches

Profitable niches typically include high-ticket services where businesses can afford to pay more for leads. For example, home remodeling can result in jobs worth tens of thousands of dollars, making businesses more willing to spend up to $10,000 per month for quality leads. In contrast, services with lower revenue per job, like hair salons, might only justify monthly rents around $500 due to lower profit margins.

Domain Age and SEO Strategies

Selecting an aged domain can aid in quicker ranking due to its established history, provided it hasn’t been used for spamming. Pairing this with SEO tools like Surfer SEO and Hemingway App ensures the content is both optimized and readable. Generating initial content with an AI writer like Koala and refining it with these tools can maximize the site’s efficiency in capturing search traffic.

The effectiveness of these strategies hinges on understanding both traffic dynamics and competition levels in the chosen locales and niches, ensuring that the potential revenues justify the SEO efforts and investments.

Strategies for Setting Rental Prices

Key Elements That Affect Rental Prices

Several aspects impact how rental prices are decided. One of the main factors is the competition in the local area. If there are many similar service providers, it might be necessary to lower prices to attract renters.

The type of service being targeted also plays a significant role. For example, high-demand services like home remodeling can fetch higher rental rates due to the high profit from each job. On the other hand, services with lower profit margins, like hair salons, may not support high rental prices.

The quality and age of the domain also matter. Older domains that have not been used for spam are more trustworthy and can potentially rank higher. This credibility can justify higher rental prices, as businesses are more likely to pay a premium for a site that already has a good standing with search engines.

Additionally, the price can vary based on the specific agreement with the business. Some may prefer a flat monthly rate, while others might opt for a performance-based model where they pay per lead received. The approach chosen can significantly influence the rental price.

Potential Income from High-End Niches

Focusing on high-end niches can be a lucrative approach when building and monetizing websites. By targeting premium sectors like home remodeling, roofing, and kitchen or bathroom renovations, the potential earnings can be substantial.

Table of Potential Monthly Income:

NicheEstimated Monthly Income
Home RemodelingUp to $10,000
RoofingUp to $10,000
Kitchen RenovationsUp to $10,000
Bathroom RenovationsUp to $10,000

These high-value services command significant costs, like $30,000 for a remodel, allowing service providers to afford higher monthly payments for quality leads.

In contrast, lower-end niches, such as hair salons, might offer more volume but at a lower profit margin. Rentals in these sectors might fetch around $500 monthly due to smaller operational budgets and thinner profit margins.

List of Lower-End Niches and Possible Income:

  • Hair Salons: $500/month
  • Nail Salons: $500/month
  • Small Local Services: $500/month

Balancing the targeted niches is crucial. Opt for areas where competition is manageable but still offers enough traffic to make significant earnings. Using an aged domain in these efforts helps in gaining visibility more quickly due to established credibility.

This strategy requires careful selection and testing of industries but presents a promising revenue potential for those able to execute it effectively.

Domain Age and Selection Caution

Domain age plays a crucial role in website ranking. Older domains often have an edge because search engines might view them as more trustworthy. However, it’s important to be cautious when picking an older domain. One key concern is whether the domain has ever been used for spamming. A spam-heavy history can hurt your chances of ranking well.

To avoid issues, check the past use of the domain. Ensure it hasn’t been associated with anything harmful. A domain that has been dormant for a long time might be a good option, as it can be more like a clean slate.

When choosing a domain, aim for one that hasn’t had any previous content that could negatively impact its ranking potential. This can help you build a successful site without any baggage. For local rank and rent strategies, using an older, clean domain can give you a competitive edge in smaller markets.

Pros of Older Domains

  • Potential trust factor with search engines
  • May rank faster than brand-new domains
  • Established history can add credibility

Cons of Older Domains

  • Possible spam history
  • Need thorough checking for past usage
  • Might have old backlinks that aren’t useful

Being careful with domain selection can make or break your success. A well-chosen aged domain can help you rank better and faster, while a poorly chosen one can lead to setbacks.

Using WordPress

Benefits of Using WordPress

WordPress is an incredibly flexible and user-friendly platform. As someone who hosts websites on a dedicated server, the ease with which you can use WordPress stands out. Its extensive plugin library covers just about any functionality you might need. From SEO enhancements to user engagement features, there’s a plugin for everything.

Another thing to note is its cost-effectiveness. Being a free platform, it reduces the initial expenses considerably. Customization options make it suitable for various types of sites, whether for a small business or a large organization. The platform’s ability to be molded to different needs without complex coding is a significant plus.

In addition, while some criticize the PHP codebase of WordPress, from a user’s perspective, the backend technology isn’t a concern. The user experience remains seamless and efficient. This ensures that building and maintaining a site on WordPress is straightforward without requiring deep technical knowledge.

Tools for Enhancing Your SEO

Surfer SEO

Surfer SEO is a tool crafted for content optimization. It scrutinizes top-ranking pages for your target keywords, analyzing headings and content. This tool provides insights into the terms and phrases that high-ranking sites use. By aligning your content with these elements, you can enhance your ranking potential. Using Surfer SEO involves entering the primary keyword and following the guidelines it offers to improve your article’s relevancy.

Koala AI Writer

Koala AI Writer is designed for generating initial drafts of articles. With this tool, you input specific keywords related to your field, and it produces a base article. This saves considerable time, offering a robust starting point for further optimization. After producing the draft, you can refine it to align with your unique voice and targeted audience, ensuring maximum engagement and relevance.

Process to Optimize Articles

Optimizing articles involves several key steps. First, draft the article using a tool like Koala AI Writer. Then, input this draft into Surfer SEO to get recommendations for optimization based on top-ranking content. Adjust the article according to these suggestions. Finally, use the Hemingway App to grade the readability of your content. Aim for a grade eight or lower to ensure clarity and accessibility. This combination ensures that your content is not only SEO-friendly but also easy to understand.

Methods to Prevent Over-Optimization

Ensuring you avoid over-optimization is crucial. Too much focus on keywords can make content sound unnatural. Balance is key. Use keywords naturally within the text and do not overstuff. Diversify your language and ensure the content flows well. A good practice is to read the content out loud to check for naturalness. Tools like Hemingway can help ensure language simplicity and ease of reading, which also helps in maintaining a natural tone.

Content Readability

Hemingway App for Simplifying Language

The Hemingway App is a useful tool for making written content easier to read. The app highlights complex sentences and suggests simpler alternatives. It also assigns a readability grade level, aiming for a lower score to make the content accessible. Aiming for an 8th-grade reading level ensures clarity.

This tool identifies areas where the text might be too dense and helps to break it down into more digestible parts. Using Hemingway can make sure that the content is clear not just to humans but also to search engines.

Published by

John Ward

With nearly two decades of experience in building, growing, and monetizing websites, I share insights from my journey—highlighting what works and what doesn’t. Whether you're new or experienced, there's something here for everyone.