30 Dec AiroAV Antivirus Writes: Expand Your Marketing Services With The ‘Rank And Rent’ Mod…
In 2007, founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia bought a few air beds and put up a site called AirBed & Breakfast, offering visitors a place for sleep and breakfast. Today, consumers reportedly spend more on Airbnb listings than they do on bookings at one of America’s oldest and most upscale hotel chains, Hilton.
The catch? Airbnb owns none of the real assets it offers.
Let’s look at another example: Facebook.
The media giant brought in $16.6 billion in ad revenue for the second quarter of this year, and has increased its revenue per user to $7.26, more than 19% over last year. Unsurprisingly, the second biggest online ads marketplace in the world owns none of the products it advertises.
Airbnb, Uber and Facebook are information-based digital platforms that connect buyers with sellers. And this simple connection is the bedrock of all affiliate marketing programs. Today, 15% of the total digital media ad revenue comes from marketers promoting products for other companies for a cut of the profits.
How does it work? You find a product or business service you like or you think you can sell, do the market research, bring in the leads or revenue and take a sliver of the earnings in return.
Other than businesses that have a solid web presence and have active affiliate programs, the model also works for small businesses with little or no digital footprint. In fact, it’s an opportunity that remains largely unexploited.
The world is digitizing at a rapid rate. An estimate of 1.9 billion people (subscription required) buy products online. In the United States alone, nearly 80% (subscription required) made at least one online purchase last year. That’s a massive user base to tap into.
Yet 45% of small businesses in the U.S. have no website. Others don’t spend enough on digital ads and maintain a poor company profile, further hurting their chances.
All of this combines to create a massive gap in the market. A gap, and a goldmine of opportunity for those who are looking.
Search engine optimization (SEO) affiliate marketers are filling the space and making bank while they’re at it. The idea is simple: Optimize a website for a local business and rank it on Google. Once it starts bringing in leads, you can rent it to relevant service providers for a cut of the profits. Marketers call it the “rank and rent” model.
Let’s go into detail.
Find A Niche You Can Promote
Start with choosing a niche with high search traffic and low competition. Trying to rank websites for lawyers, dentists and plastic surgeons can be hard due to high competition. This means months and months of work before you see any results. In comparison, services like tree removal or window tinting have low competition and good search volume, which will help you rank faster.
As a rule of thumb, look for a local search volume over 200-500 per month. That’s a good place to start.
Choose A Domain
Domain names make all the difference. Choosing the right domain name is a huge factor. Try to use a website name that includes the location and your main keyword.
For example, if you’re trying to rank and rent a site for window tinting in Oakland, your domain name should look something like this: oaklandwindowtinting.com or oaklandwindowtintingexperts.com.
You need a website or blog to get started. Focus on content that is relevant to your niche and doesn’t sound like an ad. Be genuine, use the keywords you’ve researched and always end with a good call to action (CTA).
Run Frequent Tests
What differentiates a successful marketer from the rest? They never stop testing. Keep a list of keywords and content pieces that bring you the most traffic over a period of time. Remove the ones that don’t perform well and only keep what’s relevant.
The Next Step
After you’ve set up your website in your chosen niche and it starts getting leads for you, you should contact the relevant business owners and offer them free leads.
I’ve found that no business will turn you away if you offer to help them make more money. But, before they commit, they’ll need evidence. Prove what you’ve promised by providing solid evidence. Show them a conversion rate of at least 2%. Numbers make all the difference.
The “rank and rent” model allows you to run a business without owning an asset. Like Uber and Airbnb, you use your skills and chosen platforms to connect an eager customer base with their desired product or service.
If you’re not interested in running a website on a long-term basis, you can also sell the website after you’ve set it up and it starts bringing you leads.
However, don’t expect quick results and overnight success. It’s a long, tedious process and many people give up in the first round. Stay patient and cultivate a healthy and creative relationship with the businesses whose products you choose to promote. Lack of trust and communication from either side can prove detrimental.