Earl Gardner

 

Source: SEOSignalsLab

Pick His Brain!

I’d like to introduce one of our members, Earl Gardner, for our next ‘Pick His Brain’ session and I want to thank him for the participation.

Earl has been doing rank and rent for many years and he is very good at it.

He is also a digital marketer with a relentless sense of humor.

If you’ve ever thought about getting into rank and rent SEO business model, Earl can provide a great insight.

It’s time to pick his brain.

Here are the rules.

1) I’ll let the thread go on until he asks me to stop. Theoretically, this thread can continue until bitcoin value goes to zero.

2) Please, no snarky remarks. I will not tolerate any intentional negativity. We are here to learn from each other’s success and strategies.

3) Please do not PM him and bother him. If you have a private question, ask for his permission on this thread when appropriate.

#PickHisBrain

Table of Contents

How do you determine how much to spend per website in order to get decent rankings?

I don’t set a budget on the sites that I build out to rank and rent.

I determine the likely monthly profit by checking out how many businesses are specifically targeting keywords for the niches and locations I am targeting.

Then I look at the amounts they’re spending approximately on AdWords to see if there’s enough money there to divert to me and still allow me to make a decent profit each month.

I’m not a person who will simply target high volume keywords in the hope that I can rent a site.

I want to see businesses already spending money. It’s way easier to convince someone to divert money they’re already spending than it is to try and convince them to find new marketing money.

1) how many businesses are specifically targeting keywords for the niches and locations? 2) How much amounts they’re spending approximately on AdWords. You use any tool like SpyFu?

You’re good with the video I posted for this answer?

For the number of businesses paying in AdWords I search a few of the target keywords.

I see how many businesses are paying by looking above and below the organic rankings.

At that point I know the minimum number of businesses who are paying in AdWords.

Those above the organic rankings are the ones I initially target as they are likely to be bidding the highest amount for the keywords.

What’s the toughest part about rank and rent model?

I would say the toughest thing about Rank and Rent, especially for newbies is patience!

If you pick the right niche and locations then you can always rank for some or all of the keywords you need to bring in targeted traffic.

But you have to look at longevity and not just look at keywords you can quickly, because you’re just as likely to lose those rankings quickly too.

The keywords you have to work at getting more often than not are going to be the most valuable ones, and they take time to rank for.

When I build out a site, I don’t look at renting out for approximately 3 months after I start building.

That way I can get good ranking, and gauge the traffic and phone calls that will yield from my efforts.

From there I can determine my monthly price I am renting for.

How long before you typically have something you can rent out?

I plan for three months out, but it depends on how long it takes you to rank and start bringing in phone calls.

Even if it takes me two months to see phone calls coming in.

I’d still give it another month because I want to see a trend on those phone calls and see how many calls I’m getting weekly.

If by the end of the month I’m seeing 20 calls coming in each WEEK.

I’m then going to ‘estimate’ to my prospects that the site should bring in around 20 calls per MONTH.

That way I know I should easily break that barrier and will be over delivering on my promise.

What software do you use to track/manage leads?

I am currently using Joe Troyer’s ACT for tracking my phone calls, Zack, but in all honesty.

My customers generally county phones calls they get in the first month or two, and since I always over-deliver on what I promise to them.

They don’t really ask for reports and check on numbers of calls they’re getting.

I guess they might think that they’re getting one over on me, since I underpromise on numbers.

Does that mean you’ll charge a flat monthly rate instead of charging per lead?

I always go with flat monthly!

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I charge anything from $399 to $799 per month depending on the niche and how many calls I am generating during the incubation period.

I know there are those people who do PPL who will say I am leaving money on the table.

But I am fine with that because I have zero hassle from customers on what is or isn’t a good lead.

The vast majority of my customers don’t even contact me every month.

They just let their billing go through and call me if they have any questions.

What do you do with the leads that trickle in during the incubation period?

I secretly send them to one of the businesses that is paying in AdWords.

I don’t put a whisper on, as I don’t want my whisper being associated with sales calls, which you get a lot of early on.

When I am ready to start taking rent.

I contact the company and say I’m the person who’s been sending the calls and give them some phone numbers from the callers that I know are quality leads (since I listen to the calls beforehand).

Then it’s a case of asking if he wants to continue receiving the calls and giving my price.

Do you let your client see your rank & rent sites?

I used to, but not anymore! We build buffer sites that look like directories that we show to prospective clients.

Even those buffer sites will bring a few leads in.

The vast majority of leads come from other local sites that we rank that the customers never have any visibility of.

I think it’s risky to show prospective customers your money sites.

What if they ask for site stats how do u handle that?

I’m not one for sending reports or stats. I simply gave them access to the call reporting tool we use (ACT from Joe Troyer) and told them to log in at any point in time.

I didn’t offer traffic or ranking reports because they’re not important.

The only thing that matters and we were selling was the lead generation (calls and forms being filled in).

Last year we decided to focus only on one niche – real estate – instead of multiple niches.

Rank and rent is good for real estate (in Florida) because Pay Per Lead won’t fly, and realtors would lose their license if they paid any unlicensed realtor for leads or any kind of commission.

I started doing talks at brokerages about online marketing, and quickly realized how ‘ignorant’ most real estate agents are regarding online marketing techniques.

So with that in mind I took my real estate license exam and passed that, so I can create and service my own real estate leads here in Florida.

So that is taking up a huge chunk of my time. My 20-year-old son also took and passed real estate license exam yesterday.

So we can work together as a team. Working together with him is going to be a huge blessing for me, and worth me spending most of my time on to get going.

You showed me a YT video some time ago on reaching out to a prospect. Do you still have the URL?

This is one of my earlier prospecting videos that we used to create and then send via video emails to them – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDZE_Tw0zvc

We had a really good closing rate going this route.

What method do you like to use now to land new clients?

Video email still works well, and there are services you could use like https://bombbomb.com to do that.

If you’re getting calls on a regular basis then it helps to show data to a prospect.

So I do three things –

1. Call the prospect and introduce myself and tell them I’ve been sending them leads and want to keep sending them.

But I would like to send them some details on the program and ask for the email to who I should send the email.

2. I then send the email which includes a video that has the data and also includes a few numbers of people who’ve called and they’ve responded to in a positive manner.

I also include a link for them to subscribe to the service and a date that they need to subscribe by before the calls stop and are passed to someone else

3. If they don’t subscribe by that date.

I move the calls to someone else, and then I email the original prospect to thank them for fielding the original calls.

Let them know that since they didn’t subscribe that I’ve had to give someone else the opportunity to take the calls.

I never follow up after that and I would say around 60-70% of the original prospects will get back to me within a day or two trying to get the calls back.

This is why I think it’s important to be sending quite a few calls before you call them, because you want them to notice the drop off once you stop.

It seems like you don’t really sell a marketing package but more of a lead gen package?

Well now I will show them something completely different and not my actual sites.

Something like this http://hvacservicefinder.net (this is a demo site since I don’t target HVAC)

This is what I show as where the leads are coming from and there is a fixed monthly price.

The actual real leads come from other assets though and are fed through to the listing on these sites.

In terms of price, it depends on how many calls are coming through during the incubation period and how much they’re paying per click in AdWords.

Are the lead gen sites directory sites as well or are you posing as a plumber or dentist etc. on the lead gen sites?

These ‘directory’ sites are what I show to customers who want to know where the leads are coming from.

However, the leads aren’t really being generated by the directory, but are actually being created via other sites that I actually rank.

This is to protect my actual ranking sites, especially during the prospecting phase.

The other benefit of these ‘directories’ is that if you can create enough leads you can then share them among multiple companies who are paying to be in your ‘directory’.

(I put ‘directory’ inside the apostrophes because they aren’t really actual directories, they just look like them to the customers)

If your directory started ranking you would send the same lead to 2 or 3 companies? Aka home advisor?

It’s not really about the directory ranking, but how many leads I’m bringing in and how many companies they can serve.

If you’re lucky enough to be bringing in 50 plumbing calls per week, it’s highly unlikely a single small plumbing outfit could handle all those calls.

So you could split those between 4 or 5 companies and make more money.

For most companies, at the end of the day, it isn’t so much about phone calls, which we all make out it is, but about how many converted calls they get.

If you’re charging a plumbing company $500 per month, and they close 7 or 8 customers a month from your efforts they are more than happy.

This is the reason I liked working with ‘emergency’ blue collar niches.

Because those customers need a vendor quickly and can’t afford to waste time asking for quotes and taking their time to decide.

They need someone now.

I’m talking about emergency garage door repair, emergency plumbers, emergency A/C repair, mobile mechanics, towing services, etc.

The conversion rate in these and some other niches is high.

It sounds like you are sending only one lead to one partner at a time?

This is what the round robin calling system does.

It basically calls all the numbers systematically so each business will get leads sent to them.

Or you can have it so all the numbers ring at the same time and whoever answers first gets the lead.

Do you charge per lead or just a flat fee per month for the site?

I always do flat monthly fees, never Pay Per Lead.

I tried PPL once and partnered with another marketer, and his customer (a roofer) was constantly arguing about what was or wasn’t a good lead.

Eventually we walked away from him when he was complaining about only getting leads who were asking for quotes and never coming back to buy.

What niche categories have you found to be the most profitable and/or easiest to “sell”?

I don’t mind sharing my niches, since I don’t really focus on those any more.

The one niche that I found so easy to rank for and got a ton of phone calls for was mobile mechanic.

I used to rank in places like Houston, Atlanta, Orlando, Austin and so forth, which were all pretty large cities and was getting anything between 300 to 500 calls per month in the larger cities.

I also used to like House Cleaning and Plumbing. I never really targeted high paying niches like legal or medical in rank and rent.

You said you don’t mind sharing because you don’t focus on them anymore. Is there a reason for that? I mean if you were getting 300 + calls pm why stop that niche?

I only want to focus on real estate now!

I still have a lot of the other sites in other niches that were already rented, but we’re not making new sites that are out of the real estate niche.

We’ve sold quite a few of the sites we were renting to the businesses who were renting them, and in all likelihood we’ll sell the remaining off to them over time.

The more niches you look after, the more niche related PBNs you have to maintain (or we do, since we rank most of our sites using PBNs).

When building a new rank and rent site, do you find a renter prior to building/ranking it or wait until it’s creeping up serps close to page 1/2 to find someone?

Before I commit to building out a site to rank and rent, I will check to see how many businesses are competing in AdWords for those related keywords.

I want a minimum of 5 companies competing, because that way I’m pretty sure I can get at least one of them to divert some of their AdWords spend towards me.

I check to see what they’re spending approximately on some of the higher paying keywords, so if they’re paying something like $15 per click on a number of keywords.

I know if I can show them if they spend the same amount of money on me (or sometimes a little more) that they would be getting phone calls instead of clicks, then it’s a no-brainer for them to at least give my service a try.

Also, before I even contact them for the first time, I would have already sent them some phone leads without them knowing.

I only let on I have during that first phone call.

I also give them the phone number of the leads I’ve sent so they can go back and check I’m telling the truth before we speak again.

What tool do you use to see who is spending on AdWords?

You can use tools like Spyfu.com to go and see who’s paying what.

But I tend to manually search keywords for cities/towns I am contemplating targeting to see with my own eyes that there are a good number of businesses who are advertising.

What phone number service do you use for these? Just put the clients number once the deal is done, use a google voice number or call tracking service like CallRail?

No I use Twilio numbers for tracking, and then add them to Joy Troyer’s ACT.

It doesn’t really matter which tracking service you use to track, as long as you do it.

That way, if a customer chooses to leave you, then you still have the data to convince another customer to jump in.

How many tracking numbers do you use per client?

One number per site!

How do you acquire addresses to use for a GMB listing. Once you have an address to use, how many businesses will you create under that address?

I don’t do anything with fake GMBs now, I offer that as an add-on for my customers and rank their real listing.

When I used to do the fake thing, I used to go over to http://www.loopnet.com to grab physical addresses.

Back in the day you used to be able to add your fake business details into lots of different online directories and then eventually Google would pick up the business info and create the GMB listing for you.

All you had to do was then claim it using the tracking number associated with that business.

Things have changed a lot since then, so I don’t know if that still works or not.

I was recently told it does, but since I only work with real GMBs now, I couldn’t really confirm whether it does or doesn’t.

How many sites do you make to drive the calls? How big of sites are they?

Great question! It depends on the city and niche.

Sometimes I can drive enough calls with a couple of smaller sites, and in other cities I’ll create a mass page site or two and drive calls from those.

It really depends on how successful each site is in driving the calls.

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When you select a city to build a website for, do you consider the city’s population or demographic? If you do, what size does the city need to be for you to consider it?

I don’t, I care only that if people are paying and competing in AdWords for that location and niche.

How do you approach getting GMB reviews?

Because I work with real clients, I tend to leave that in their hands to get the GMB reviews.

But I do emphasize they should be getting reviews from anywhere they can. Ideally they’ll be GMB, but if not GMB then Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo Local, etc.

Just get into the habit of asking for reviews and responding to them.

What are the first things u do when first ranking your sites ….and how do you get out of the sandbox?

I plan on renting sites around 3 months out, so if my sites do happen to go into the sandbox, they’re well and truly out by then.

I simply continue to add content to the sites (blog posts) and backlinks.

I don’t panic and worry about whether I am adding too much too soon, I just keep going at a slow and steady pace.

What do I do first when ranking sites? That’s an easy one to answer – on page optimization.

For off page? Do u use pbns? Press release? Citations? Social signal? If so which more or less.

More than 90% of my off page is PBNs,Web 2.0’s and Social Signals (http://linkcollider.com).

I don’t do Press Releases now, but used to.

You have to be careful with those though as they can push your hyperlink ratios out quite a bit.

For the most part I did find they helped with ranking though, but honestly I didn’t seen much in the way of improvements in traffic.

Others may have had more luck.

I definitely think it’s worth registering your sites in local/niche directories if you do create a brand for your business.

When you do that be prepared to start fielding calls from sales companies trying to sell you their services and upselling for paid advertising in those directories though.

For domains do you still use Exact or Partial Match Domains or branded ones? Do you start with brand new domains, or do you get expired ones?

I tend to prefer branded names myself, but EMD and PMDs can still be useful for the additional sites I used to get more traffic/phone calls.

People say that EMDs and PMDs don’t work anymore, but I disagree, I find that they do.

But you have to be careful with your page URLs so you don’t over optimize them and over stuff them with keywords.

Does domain authority of competitors play a factor in your choice of niche and city?

I tend to use PBNs a lot to rank my sites, so I’m going to build my own authority over time.

What I do care about with competition is the number of relevant links they have (so I am looking more at Topical Trust Flow in Majestic than just domain authority (in Moz), Trust Flow (in Majestic) or Domain Rating (in AHREFs)).

All of these metric sites together can give you a much fuller picture of what you can and can’t rank, but honestly for me.

Since I have a really good PBN in my chosen niche, I am confident about building high metrics.

Do keep in mind though that Metrics are not the be all and end all in ranking, so focus more on building relevant backlinks from various sources.

What kind of backlink you even try to get for plumbers n such. Can I see an example site you’ve made for rent?

I look at Topical Trust Flow for my links.

So in that case I like sites in the Business Category for Contractors and Maintenance (which I ensure I get via my PBNs)

Sorry, I don’t share details of my money sites as that is just asking for trouble really!

When you’re building the site’s traffic and calls to a point where you can rent it, what do you do with all the calls you get in the meantime? How do you manage that (automate)?

I send the calls to someone who’s paying in Adwords.

So the calls will be responded to and I build up data that I will need to convert the prospect to a customer later on.

How are you ranking websites on the first page nowadays?

On page SEO, social signals, backlinks from my own private and Web 2.0 PBNs and sending traffic via searches and referral sites.

When building a rank and rent site, do you use a new or an aged domain?

Both, It depends if I find a good relevant expired domain with lots of good relevant backlinks.

What about real estate agent sites using local keywords? Can this be a Profitable rank and rent niche?

That’s my niche! You can easily do rank and rent in that niche.

But it’s way harder to do Pay Per Lead, as in a lot of states it’s against the rules to be able to pay for leads and agents/brokers can lose their licenses.

I would say that real estate is one of the hardest niches to rank for (in my experience), the only one I’ve found tougher was the legal niche.

I am based in Pakistan and planning rank and rent sites in UK and USA. What 3 advises you will give me? When you start ranking the sites, what 3 SEO moves are your best and preferred practice?

That’s a really tough one to answer, because everyone has different skills and resources.

If you’re going to do rank and rent, then you obviously need to know how to rank sites and if you can’t rank them then you need to either learn or pay someone to do it.

My number 1 piece of advice to anyone who is new to this is to pick your niche carefully and then focus on that niche and target as many cities/ towns that you can within that niche.

The reason I say that is because you can build up a lot of external, relevant resources to help you rank all those sites over time (e.g. PBNs, Wb 2.0’s, etc.).

If you chop and change niches they you have to keep starting over.

Secondly I would say build out quality looking sites that look like something your target customer couldn’t throw together themselves or get their 12 year old child to do themselves.

When you approach a prospect you do want to look like you’re a professional who does this for a living and are experienced – even if you only do it part-time.

The more professional you look then it should be easier to close.

My third would be to probably look at building out mass page sites to accompany your money sites (or even make your money sites mass page sites).

So you can quickly rank for some of the low competition keywords and start pulling some traffic from searchers using those words in Google.

When you pick the niche (plumbing), you’re saying that you build multiple websites with various plumber related site names? Multiple for each city or one per city? Are you using the same links and same content across the multiple sites? Do you outsource any of it?

Each site would look totally independent and not share links with each other.

Pretty much like building PBN sites where none of the dots can be connected.

So I do 2 or 3 sites per city and rank them for similar keywords so I can pick up multiple spots on page 1 of the SERPs.

No I don’t outsource anything as I have my own team on staff.

Do you use PBNs? Have you ever tried one single site for multiple cities and renting out every city page to a separate facilitator? What is your opinion about such model?

I do use PBNs, and also Web 2.0’s that I push the authority up on.

I have single sites that I build out multiple cities on, but as I said, they’re more fronts to show customers.

It’s way easier to rank a multi-page site (I feel) for the primary cities I am targeting and I can target more keywords for that city with a focused multi-page websites.

The one major benefit of directory type sites is the internal backlinking from the hundreds/thousands of pages.

But you can gain that advantage by building out mass page sites for smaller targeted areas too.

Do you use rank and rent software? So if someone lands on your page that is ranked #1 they can instantly rent it?

No I don’t at all!

Any one who lands on my sites accidentally would never know they’re rank and rent sites, so there is no way for them to be able to instantly rent it.

I rarely build sites that don’t rent out in the time I target them to get rented.

I’m trying to think of a time that has happened and I can’t think of one.

I am 56 now though, so my memory isn’t what it was.

It might have happened early on, but if it had, then I am sure I would have just sold the site, or perhaps used it as a demo site.

How do I buy your themes and rent the pages out to clients for rank and rent? Do you have a course? I have bought your themes before, they are very high quality. I just could not get them to rank. My fault. Any thoughts?

You can always PM me, I don’t want to put any links inside the group out of respect for Steven!

To be honest though, my themes are not magic themes that will automatically rank.

The ranking is where your own skills will come in, and it’s no more or less easy to rank my themes as it is anyone else’s.

There are many reasons why you may not have been able to rank e.g. your on page wasn’t good enough, the competition level was too high, etc, etc.

So you really want to identify where you went wrong before spending a lot more money on themes and other things I would say.

Were you targeting Chicago itself? I would have thought that would be a tough ask for a novice, regardless of niche.

So you may want to start targeting suburbs around Chicago, instead of the main city itself.

What about the branding of the site? I assume the surfers want to know which company will return to their call, right? if so, what brand you show on the site? Is after you start working with them, you change the name on the site etc.?

It depends on your chosen niche. You can stay pretty generic with branding such as “Chicago Emergency Plumbing”, which works great.

Because if someone dials a number and says “Is this Chicago Emergency Plumbing”, then Joe the Plumber is going to say yes if he does emergency plumbing in Chicago.

But, if you’re charging enough each month then it might be worth changing the branding to show your client’s details as it should be no more than an hours worth of work to do.

And if you’re getting $500 or $600 per month, then it’s an hour well spent I would say.

Can I ask you about call conversion rates ? When you’re doing your initial research (keyword research, competitors, ad spend etc) do you estimate the call conversion rate and use that to help base your pricing on? And if so how do you estimate the call conversion rates? What would be a typical call conversion rate ? (guessing it varies by niche)

I don’t use paid ads at all on my site, Jim, I wait for them to rank organically and start picking up calls.

I did try Facebook ads at one time, and I didn’t see a big enough pick up in calls to justify the ad spend.

So I go the organic route with multiple sites.

It’s hard to know what the conversion rate is going to be since it depends on the end product, the price of it and the closing skills of the person who answers the phone.

I state upfront that my job is to get their phones ringing and after that it’s up to them.

If someone would complain to me about conversion rate, then I wouldn’t even bother trying to convince them.

I would say they should cancel and I’d move the site to someone else.

I’m all for an easy life and I think you need to find customers who get it to a certain point, and are not looking for constant reporting and justifications why they should keep your service.

Whats your thoughts on the medical niche like dentists for rank rent?

I might be in the minority here. but I liked the ’emergency’ blue collar niches, where people mainly care about how quickly you can send someone to them e.g. emergency garage door repair, emergency water damage repair, etc., because people don’t bother asking for quotes, they just want to know how quickly someone can be there.

Therefore the conversion rate is high.

I had thought about the dental niche (e.g. cosmetic dentists, orthodontists, etc.) and also the chiropractic niche, but they’re not something I really targeted. They are doable though!

I once build a YouTube channel and put 7 videos on it and ranked them.

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And then sold the channel for $500 plus $250 per month to keep those video rankings high.

Can u rank #1 without a gmb listing?

It depends if the keyword shows GMB listings in the search results.

I have seen some keywords that show organic rankings above the maps listings, but not many.

But even when they do, in my opinion, people still notice the maps listings first.

How many different niche sites do you have going at any given time?

I used to do garage door repair, house cleaning, mobile mechanic, plumbing and water repair at the same time, Chris, but keep in mind I have my own team on salary, so it’s something I was able to handle with a team.

I wouldn’t suggest that people try and do that when they’re on their own.

And even with a team, I would still suggest to focus only on one or two niches and become as expert as you can in those and try to build up your name.

Right now I think we’re down to somewhere between 20 and 25 sites ranked and rented, and at our peak we were at 47.

Now we’re focusing on the real estate niche and in the process of building those assets up.

That is definitely an industry that needs help, but it is very, very competitive!

Do you add blog posts into your rank and rent sites?

Yes, I do! More relevant pages for inner linking!

What kind of strategies you used to rank for keywords in competitive niche?

Mass page sites with PBNs, Web 2.0’s and social signals. But I do pick my battles!

I’m never going to chase New York Attorney or LA Plastic Surgeon.

As I could end up chasing my tail and getting nowhere.

How do you choose content of the pages…do you target single city or multi cities in mass page sites?

We just write the content as if they’re real sites.

If you’re not good at doing that you may need to outsource that part.

But just look at similar niche sites that rank and base your content off those, without plagiarizing the content.

Either singles cites and surrounding cities within a chosen area, or statewide.

I don’t do nationwide.

I’ve done one, but it took way too long to complete and takes up too much resource in terms of hosting.

When linking back from your blog posts to your main page or inner pages are you using any keyword anchor text or just a link back to the URL?

I use relevant anchor text.

I’m pretty sure Steven posted an article in the group a while ago about how Google looks at internal and external backlinks differently.

And how you’re not at risk of over optimization with internal backlinks.

If it wasn’t in this group I’ll have to search it up.

Within same niche – do you build town/city sites or larger statewide sites? Do you GMB any of your RnR sites? Any niches you recommend avoiding and why?

In terms of target. I do both state and also city (with a radius around the city).

I used to do fake GMB but now offer GMB optimization as an upsell.

However, I would advocate for GMBs if you can do them, because without a doubt, you’ll get a lot more calls with a good page 1 ranking GMB (especially if it has good reviews) than organic alone.

Matthew Versteeg has a good GMB service that you could speak to him directly about.

As far as niches to avoid – ‘one man’s meat is another man’s potatoes’ comes to mind.

Just because I might avoid the legal niche doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

If you have experience in a certain niche or have good contacts, then you may wish to consider that niche first.

Or maybe you live in a city that has a good target market for a certain niche that you might want to jump into.

So you really should do your own research and jump into a niche that you feel comfortable with and feel you’ll be successful with.

What do you like more, the money or the work that’s being done to get the money, or the sensation of putting food on the table for your family?

I’d focus on doing the very best I can, and the rest will usually follow.

In terms of enjoyment, pick a niche that you feel you’ll enjoy working in and learning more about.

Do you have a sales team or do you do your own prospecting?

I am my sales team. I have a team of developers, designers and SEOers on staff, but none of them sell or interact directly with customers.

Do you use a funnel of some kind or sales process that is somewhat automated?

Actually no I don’t!

I keep the process really simple.

I approach businesses when I’m ready and they either want the leads or they don’t.

After my initial contact and after sending the email with the details I don’t chase anyone.

If they don’t pay by the given date the leads stop going to them and are sent elsewhere.

What’s your average rent and do you give them an idea of how many calls they’ll get?

I rent between $399 and $799 per month, and the estate of calls is based on the volume of calls.

I am getting during the incubation period that I had discussed earlier in here.

What are the top 3 things you have automated that has saved you time and money?

1) My own set of pre-populated themes

2) My mass page builder

3) My PBNs

So, basically, everything I build and sell.

I build for use in my own company first, and then some things I sell to other marketers and others I choose not to.

What themes are you using, and did you build your own mass page builder? (which, as I understand, is for the directory site only?)

Yes we have all three that we built initially for our own use.

The first two we sell to marketers and the third will be.

You can PM me for details if you like, as it wouldn’t be right to place the information inside someone else’s group.

What is estimated budget you put on a single website? If you have to buy each PBN link for 20-50$ each depending on link authority.

It’s hard to put a price on a single site since my PBNs tend to service multiple sites.

For me personally my cost boils down to the cost of the domain and the hosting.

I tend to host my money sites on either a VPS or dedicated server, and never shared hosting (apart from PBNs – they go on shared).

If I had to hazard a guess, the cost per money site for me would be around $50 per year.

No more than that. If you have to buy your own links and social signals you need to factor that in too

Out of interest what is the churn rate like for the ‘partners’ you sign on to your lead gen sites? Do they tend to stick around for a year +? If you do have any churn what do you think the main cause is?

Good word ‘churn’!

My customers tend to stick around for a long time as I tend to keep my pricing low enough to make it a no-brainer for businesses to see it as highly valuable.

You obviously have to keep sending them calls though to make that happen.

If you’re charging big money then obviously you need to be creating more leads that convert in order to justify yourself to customers and convince them that you’re offering a high value service.

Why not build 1 national site vs a site per city?

I would say if you do that you’re putting all your eggs in one basket so you’re potentially risking the loss of a lot of money if things go pear shaped.

But I know people who’ve done that, or at least, attempted to do it.

Do you do much tracking to see what happens with your leads once they’ve been sold? Maybe figuring out what conversion they close at?

Honestly I don’t!

We leave the tracking in place in order to gather data.

But if the customer is happy then so are we, and we focus on either building more assets or keeping the assets ranking.

We also have other parts of our business to manage so that also keeps us busy

Which hosting companies do you use for money sites? How about for PBNs? Do you register all of your domains on one registrar account? Or do you vary them?

Well the PBNs is a whole other subject,hard to include in this kind of thread!

What link building strategy will you suggest to rank brand new blog?

I don’t really rank blogs, but I would imagine it would be the same as trying to rank a brand new business site.

Good quality (topically relevant) unique content (even more so on a blog), really good on page optimization.

And then link back to it with social signals and highly relevant (and preferably authoritative) backlinks.

With blogs I would say it’s not just about ranking them.

But also using other methods to bring back relevant traffic (i.e. getting other people to mention your article in blogs on the same topic, perhaps a press release or two if the blog post warrants it, etc.)

Which theme apart from the ADM thor would you recommend for a rank and rent lead gen website?

I only use my own themes on my R&R sites.

But you can use any themes as long as the content is written well and is written to convert.

What kind of questions are you asking to qualify a quality company to sell your leads to?

I don’t ask questions to qualify them. I basically tell them that I’ve already sent them leads and ask if they would like to keep receiving them.

As long as they keep paying me on time they are qualified to keep receiving the leads.

1. You said you have your own PBN, can we know how many websites you recommend for a PBN? It sure depends on authority, but would 5-10 sites or even less already be a good start for moderately competitive local SEO? 2. You also said you don’t create fake GMB accounts anymore; how important is GMB to rank on the first page? Can a local rank and rent website get a good number of leads without GMB? (I never worked without GMB).

I still do Rank & Rent but specifically for the Real Estate niche these days.

We sold all of our other non-RE R&R assets a while ago.

The first thing I always tell people is not to confuse Rank & Rent and Pay-Per-Lead, because in my opinion they’re two completely different models.

With Rank & Rent you’re only trying to bring in enough leads to justify your monthly rent to your client.

What is enough leads depends on many things such as your monthly rental fee, the niche, the quality of the leads and the close rate of the client.

So if you determine that rate is 10 leads per month and your client is happy with that.

Then if you get 25 or 100 leads extra per month, your monthly fee will stay the same.

Whereas, with PPL, every single call you bring in adds $’s to your monthly income.

So, whether or not you need a GMB really depends on what you’re finding your organic ranking alone is doing.

We always have an incubation period of 3 months (minimum) with new sites we build.

So we can get them ranking, filter out all the sales call numbers and get data on the number of calls/leads we’re bringing in.

That will help us determine the monthly fee we want to charge.

If the site is bringing in twice the number of calls (or more) per week regularly that we want to pitch to the client, with organic rankings alone, then we wouldn’t bother with GMBs.

If it was struggling to do that, then we may look at working the GMB route at that time.

With Pay Per Lead, I would definitely go the GMB route if I did that model, for the reason mentioned above (every call adds monetary value).

I can’t really recommend a number of sites to add into your own PBN.

That’s kind of like a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question.

The answer to this is going to be the unsatisfactory ‘depends’ response.

So it depends how many sites you’re looking to rank, how tough is the competitions.

What else are you doing to rank your sites, how authoritative are your PBN sites that you’re building, etc.

Before you start building your own PBN, you may want to look at outsourcing your links to see what kind of ranking improvement you’re getting with those links.

Then reverse engineer them, and start building out your own PBN sites with similar authority to replace those links that you’ve purchased/are renting.

 

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