You have heard about how a lot of people are quitting their day job to start a blog, and you have also jumped on the idea of starting a blog.
Now you are at the center of confusion, and it seems as if you have tried all methods online to grow your blog traffic, and everything is proving abortive!
I have something interesting to share with you today, and it is a golden secret that is worth a million dollars.
Believe it or not, with the information I have for you here, you can turn a dying business and blog around into a million dollars.
Many bloggers have been teaching you that you need to write original content to grow your blog’s organic traffic, build backlinks, and many more.
But little did you know that that is just a teaser to get you into their paying subscribers, buy their e-Books, and many more.
Enough of the teaser, the million-dollar secret is using expired domains for SEO to increase your organic traffic from search engines.
Growing your blog to 400,000 monthly readers is not just about writing original content; it is about building backlinks.
Yes, I know you have heard that a million times. But, the experts have told you how to build backlinks, but not everything they said is right.
Building backlinks through guest posting is one of the popular methods that is being shared all around the web.
And the truth is though guest posting works, it is very tiring and exhausting.
If you are going to build backlinks to your blog through guest posts, then you must be prepared to write a lot of guest posts around 100.
And this could take close to a year achieve.
But if you are looking to speed up the growth of your blog and also increase its ability to rank higher, then take a pen and read this post to the end.
Ways to Utilize Expired Domains for SEO
1. Start Websites Using Expired Domains
If you are just starting your blog or you have a niche you would love to start a blog in, then using an expired domain will speed up the growth of the blog.
With an expired domain, you can leverage the existing backlinks profile and domain authority to establish your new blog.
2. Build SEO Friendly Private Public Blog Networks
You must have heard about how Google so much dislikes building Private Blog Networks to grow your main blog.
To Google, this is black hat SEO. Google has penalized a lot of sites due to the nursing of PBNs.
But still private blog networks are not black hat SEO; the way they are being used is what makes them a black hat.
If you want to grow a private blog network, then do it the right way.
So what’s the right way?
Take a look at Dot Dash (About.com) to understand what I meant in the right way.
Dot Dash has a big list of private blog networks that are not hidden to Google but are well displayed on their page.
And each of these blogs receives average blog traffic of 2 million readers a month. That is to tell you how big each of the blogs is.
And one thing you need to know is that each of the blogs is interlinked to one another, and this has not negatively affected the growth of the blogs.
About.com is not a small company; it is a company with over 500 workers, continually thinking about a growth formula for their blogs.
So if the so-called big companies could put their blogs at stake of a Google penalty, then why should you be scared of raising private blog networks?
The right way to raise a blog network is by making it visible for everyone to know that you run all the blogs.
So it is no longer private but Public Blog Networks.
And this is the same strategy employed by About.com.
Dot Dash monetizes its broad audience through adverts and Google AdSense.
3. Do 301 Redirects
Yes, this is the method with the highest SEO value, but which could also mean staking all your efforts on one blog.
The 301 redirect means redirecting the expired domain to your main blog. This is used by most big blogs who are interested in increasing their domain authority and outrank their competition.
The 301 redirect transfers all the SEO value from the expired domain name to the main site.
This works best if the expired domain has a higher domain authority compared to the main site.
This works fine if the two sites are in a similar niche.
How do I go about redirecting the expired domain to my main site?
I knew you are going to ask about this.
If you are not a techy person like me, you might find this a bit tricky; but I am sure you will get it right.
How To Do 301 Redirects?
1. Use Domain Panel Forwarding
301 redirects can be done with ease from the domain panel. I use Godaddy, so taking an example of Godaddy to explain how it can be done easily.
To redirect your expired domain, visit the domain panel.
1.1 Select a domain you want to redirect.
1.2 Click on the DNS link.
1.3. Move to the Forwarding section of the page. While for other domain name registrars, they might have a separate page to forward domains.
1.4. Next to the Domain section, click on the ADD, enter the destination domain name, select the Permanent (301), select the Forward only, and save the changes.
1.5. Save changes, and it will automatically redirect.
2. Use Simple 301 Redirects Plugin
If you are not a techy person or even if you are, I had advised you to use a plugin that can ease you of the stress of going through the manual method.
The Simple 301 Redirects plugin is a plugin that can help in achieving this. Follow the below steps to implement 301 redirects for your website.
2.1 Download and install the Plugin. You can get the plugin by visiting the WordPress repository.
2.2 After activation, go to Settings > 301 Redirects page
2.3 Add your old URL to the request box and your new URL to the Destination
2.4 Click save, and you are done.
3. Using .htaccess
First of all, copy and backup the original .htaccess file before making any changes.
Then make the below edit
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c> RewriteEngine On RewriteBase / RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://newdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L] </IfModule>
You will change the new domain to the domain you are redirecting to.
How to Find an Expired Domain?
Now that you know the value of expired domains in the SEO world, the next question will be, how do I find expired domains. Finding an expired domain is now the main concern and not just finding an expired domain but also includes finding a cheap and expired domain.
If it is about finding an expired domain, then that would be very simple to do. But the problem is that there are middlemen who buy expired domains and sell at a premium price.
These are not the type of expired domains I am referring to; because they would be too expensive for you to purchase.
Some of them might cost $1,000 to $10, 000 dollars.
That is way too high for a starter to purchase, except you have more than enough to waste on investing.
But that would still be a foolish thing to do if you have no product you are selling on your blog.
So I would share with you not just how to find expired domains, but how to get a cheap one.
When I say cheap, I am referring to a domain name of $10 dollars. While this might sound too good to be true, I bought my own expired domain way less than that.
I bought my expired domain at $5.
Let dive into how to find expired domains for SEO.
1. Brainstorming your competitor’s list
The truth is that one of your competitors might have quitted blogging or might have changed his or her domain name or might have forgotten to renew one of their expired domain names.
This happens a lot of time, and even some premium-priced domain names might be gotten very cheap just because the domain name flipper was not able to renew the domain name on time.
While this might sound a bit tricky or technical, it is one of the best ways of finding cheap expired domain names.
When I am referring to brainstorming your competitors, I mean getting a list of your competitors and visiting their site to find out if they are still running.
More than a million blogs are out there, and a lot of the newbie bloggers quit their blogs for one or two reasons best known to them.
So you might be lucky to find out one of your competitors are out of the game.
I will share with you a case study.
I run a local blog where I share music lyrics and other tips. I have the habit of visiting my competitor’s blogs to find out if there is anything they are doing that I am not aware of.
Whenever I visit a competitor’s blog, I research their main keywords and their search engine strength.
Also, I check out their Alexa rank to know where they rank.
On a faithful day, while I was researching, I found out a competitor’s domain name has expired, I immediately bought the domain name and started a new blog on it.
And this new blog I started on it is just three weeks old as at the time of writing, and it has started building up traffic.
But this is very stressful.
Yes! I have to tell you this, to find an expired domain manually is very difficult and stressful and could require you spending over 48 hours on finding the perfect expired domain in your niche.
That being said, it could take you a month to discover an expired domain.
2. Reach out to out-dated blogs owner
There are millions of blogs on the internet that have not been updated for over a year or even more. These could be as a result of the unwillingness of the blogger to continue updating the blog, or it could be that the blogger is no longer interested in that blog.
There are many more reasons that could prevent the blogger from updating the blog.
But that is not much of a concern to us. What we are after is getting a domain name with quality backlinks from top blogs at a cheaper rate.
These second technique will result in acquiring an active domain name and blog.
So after getting a list of blogs that have been updated a long time ago, you get the contact address of the owners.
Peradventure there is no contact page on the blog, you can run the site through hunter.io to get a list of email addresses that have been published on the website.
After getting the email address, you then send them a friendly message asking them why they no longer update the blog and also express your interest in acquiring the blog.
Yes, you would be shocked to find out that someone might give you a positive response.
On the other hand, if you do not receive any reply to your message, there is a possibility the blogger is no longer connected to the blog.
So what to do in this case is to get search for the name of the blogger on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
The blogger will surely be on one of these social networks if not all. Then find out when last he was active.
If he is still active on any of the social networks, then send him a friendly message on your interest in acquiring the domain and blog.
What if he has not been active for long?
Yes! This is possible. Something might be wrong somewhere.
So what to do in this case is document the domain name and date of expiration.
So when it expires, you might be lucky to get the domain at a lower price.
3. Use Expired Domain Finder tools
Don’t want to go through all the stress in 1 and 2? Then make use of a tool.
There are many expired domain finder tools that you could make use of to find expired domains in your niche. While this might cost you spending some money to use the premium tool, its worth it since you know what you are out to gain.
The free tools that are out there are not worth it, and they only give silly results, which is just a waste of your precious time.
You had spent the whole day trying out no 1 and 2 than wasting your time on sill free tools that give no good result.
The Best Expired Domain Finder Tools
1. GoDaddy Auction
Godaddy is the largest domain name registrar, which made them have an upper-hand when it comes to auctioning an expired domain.
It could be your best bet.
You could be sure of buying a domain name with high-quality links, but you should put in mind that you would be spending much more.
In an auction, the highest bidder wins the bid. So I cannot give you a specific amount those domain names could cost you.
Some companies bought a ready to expire domain at $500,000 dollars, while some bought a better domain with higher worth at $10,000.
So it all actually depends on the seller and your competitors.
Godaddy also has a feature of you proposing to a domain name owner through them to see if they are willing to let go of their domain name at a price.
This is a plus to their expired domain name tools.
And this means that you can even buy an existing blog with huge traffic and redirect them all to your site.
The law still remains that it has to be a domain in the same niche as your money site in order to make the links valuable.
It has an all in one feature that enables you to carry out all research you might be interested in on the domain before taking the leap of purchasing the domain name.
- Sorting – you have the option to sort out domain names according to niche and then keyword phrase.
- Moz metrics – Before taking the leap of buying an expired domain, one of the first things you might want to do is check Moz metrics for the domain. Starting from the domain authority, page authority, down to spam score.
- Org Integration – The tool is integrated with archive.org, which makes it easier to check what the looks like before. This gives you a clue about the type of content that was published on it.
FreshDrop (freshdrop.com) is yet another wonderful tool for discovering expired domains. FreshDrop.com is also as powerful as DomCop.
It is a freemium tool that allows you to have a taste of the tool without logging into buying the software.
- Sorting – Freshdrop allows you to sort domain names by setting the lower limit of domain authority, trust flow, niche, etc.
Scrapebox is a premium plugin that helps you find expired domains within minutes. This tool costs $47 dollars.
Spamzilla is a freemium tool that I highly recommend if you are serious about using these expired domains techniques to grow your blog and business.
Spamzillla offers a limited free account also but with a lot of restrictions.
ExpiredDomain.net is yet another tool that helps you in searching for expired domains. It is free but also helpful.
7. Domain Hunter Gatherer
Domain Hunter Gatherer is a quality tool that helps you search for bulk expired domain names according to the niche/ keyword you are targeting.
Are Expired Domains Risky?
The short answer to this is Yes.
The long answer to this is No.
In the SEO world, everything is risky. According to experts, using the expired domain is not risky, so far, the expired domain has quality links.
There are a lot of big sites that use this technique to grow their blog, and they are getting over 4 million monthly page views.
So, you do not need to be scared.
One simple advice I would give you is not to use these expired domains on your main site. You can either start up a new blog on the domain name or see how fast it grows, or you link it to one of your smaller blogs.
Finally! I would end this post by giving you the three myths of SEO you need to stop believing.
I have shared my own idea of using expired domains for SEO to grow your blog. I hope you find this helpful.
What are your thoughts on growing a blog using expired domains?
Have you ever tried this before?
I would love to hear from you.