Everything you oughta know about renting little websites in 2020.
1) What is it?
Just what it sounds like: you make small, simple websites and lease the leads to local business owners. It’s a lot like physical real estate, only, no tenants, toilets, or trash to deal with.
And you don’t need deep pockets to start, like you would if you were to buy an apartment complex like the one above.
Yet, with website rentals, the residual income can be just as good, if not better.
2) So it’s legit?
Not only is it legit, I think it’s the best business model there is. Why do I say that? There’s a ton of reasons.
One, it’s worked for, what, like over a decade now?
Two, despite that, there’s still thousands of wide-open niches. Meaning, unlike most internet businesses, it’s not saturated. Far from it. And it’ll continue to work, probably for the rest of your life.
Three, brick and mortar businesses aren’t going anywhere; and neither is the internet; and biz owners will always be willing to pay for leads (the smart ones, anyway), especially during recessions and market crashes, when customers are a) even harder to come by and b) more important than ever.
Four, anyone who takes it serious can learn it.
Five, I’ve heard of dozens of internet marketers who failed at just about everything else, who’ve had success with this.
Six, some of the biggest websites in the world do it:
And on and on and on.
Seven, it’s the opposite of “get rich quick.” It’s more like: build lasting wealth, predictably, over time, thanks to these tiny websites that bring in fairly-passive income, every 30 days, for the long haul.
3) Who’s it for?
I mean, anyone who wants to do it. Either as a side hustle, for some extra spending money. Or to replace a full-time job. Or even for those who wanna scale to high-six or even seven-figures. The latter is not likely, but I have heard of a few people pulling it off.
But yeah. Anybody. Anywhere. Any background. Assuming you’re hungry AF to make it work and you’ve got, I’d say, at least a thousand bucks or so in startup capital. Other ‘n’ that, makes no difference who you are, where you live, or what you do for a living currently.
It’s all done online, at your own pace. Which makes it doable for students, stay-at-home parents, those already working 40+ hours per week, and especially motivated entrepreneurs who have other businesses, whether online or off.
4) Who’s not a good fit?
I know I just made it sound like anyone with a heartbeat could crush it with this, but that’s not the case. Plenty of people are not a good fit.
For example, anyone who’s lazy shouldn’t bother. Anyone who has a weak mind should also stay away. And last, those who hate learning new things would obviously struggle.
Which, if you add all that up, that’s most people, isn’t it? So while technically anyone could do it, it doesn’t mean you should.
I think, deep down, you probably know – in your gut – if you’re someone who’s got the fire and follow-through to take a proven process and replicate it, and not quit the minute things don’t go perfectly.
Like, you just need a certain amount of grit to do anything worthwhile in life, no matter how simple it seems. Be it: losing weight or being a good parent or making, ranking, and renting small websites. Ya know?
5) Don’t most businesses already have a website?
Most do, yes. And they suck. And look like a hot mess on mobile. And they’re too cluttered. Distracting. Font’s too small. Pictures usually don’t do them justice. And video’s rarely used. As for personality? Pfft. There is none. It reads like a brochure.
Not only that:
They don’t answer the obvious questions a prospect would have, nor do they overcome their objections.
And the average website for a local business almost never gives someone a reason to act now. And even if they did, they don’t make it easy. Phone number’s hidden. Contact form doesn’t work. You name it.
And none of that’s the worst part. Wanna know what it is?
You can’t find the dang thing anywhere. It’s buried on page three of Google, collecting digital dust. Sometimes, it’s not even listed in the “Maps Pack.” Or if it is, same thing, it’s way down the list, and nobody’s digging that deep just to get their pool table moved, for instance. (*Here, have a niche. Wink.)
So that’s why, when savvy internet marketers like us come in and do all of this, beautifully, perfectly – well, I’m telling ya, there’s a massive need for this service.
6) Why don’t they just improve their site and get ranked themselves then?
I mean, if it were me, I would. But it’s not me. It’s them.
And, don’t get me wrong, some do. Just not the majority. And it’s understandable why: they’re crazy-busy doing all the other things. Hiring, firing. Training, managing. Bookkeeping, payroll. Fulfillment. Support. Constantly putting out fires. And, depending on the business, a whole lot more.
On top of that, most of these guys and gals are “offline peeps.” They have no desire to learn this “internet crap.”
7) Okay, but wouldn’t they prefer you do this to their own website?
In my experience, most don’t care. As long as their phone’s a ringing, and biz is booming, they’re happy.
The ones who do have a problem with this are the ones you either have to convince… that this is better for everybody… or you simply don’t work with them.
This actually ties into the next question though, which, I think, will clear it up even better.
8) How do you get business owners to pay you?
There are many ways, but assuming you’re starting from scratch, the best way is to deliver results in advance.
As in: make the site, rank it, and approach possible partners with hot leads. Give them a “free sample” so-to-speak.
It’s actually brilliant. It gives you all the power. You go from “nobody” to “somebody” just like that. And now, you’re not on trial to prove how awesome you are at this, before they’ll give you money. You see, it suffocates their skepticism. Instantly.
It’s like: “Here, have some free money. Oh, and if you want more, it’ll be $1,000 per month.”
(Or whatever the fair rate is, given the niche.)
And, again, not everyone, but the smart ones will reason: “Hey, if you can make me an extra, say, $4k/mo, I’ll trade you one dollar… for four back… all day long. You got yourself a deal, Bubba.”
It’s cheesy, but it really is that win-win relationship everyone’s always talking about. Only, here, they win more than you – and you’re cool with it. Because that’s good business and that’s why they’ll keep paying, month after month, for years to come.
9) But what if they still say no?
No biggie. You’ve already done all the dirty work. Just reach out to another business owner in that space and offer them some free leads. Then, make ’em the same offer. See if they bite. If not, keep going.
Sooner or later, someone’s gonna want the extra business.
10) Okay, so what happens when someone who is paying you decides they don’t want to anymore?
Once you land a good client, and assuming you’ve done everything you can to maximize how many leads your site’s sending them, it’s rare someone leaves. But it does happen from time to time.
Maybe they’re getting ready to retire. Or they didn’t have the systems in place to handle more leads, and now all that new biz you sent them is actually stressing them out or creating other problems. Or maybe they’re just allergic to money. Who knows.
Regardless, if and when it happens, you treat it the same way you did when you got the client in the first place: onto the next one. Simply hook a different business with your irresistible bait, then reel ’em in.
Thanks to technology, you can transfer the leads from one biz to the next, with just a few clicks. So you hardly have to touch your website; rather, just forward calls and emails to the new biz owner’s contact info. Boom, you don’t miss a beat.
So really, the only time one of these rental websites would not pay you, monthly, for a long, long time… would be if you picked a bad niche to begin with. (Where, maybe there just weren’t enough leads, or the leads didn’t convert, or the biz owner just doesn’t make enough profit from them to cut you in. So it’s somewhat true what they say: the riches are in the niches. Pick good ones? And you can’t lose.)
Wait. Actually, you could. Lose, that is.
The other scenario where this doesn’t work goes back to question four, above. Like, if you don’t see this process all the way through, and make an amazing website that ranks first (or at least near the top) in Google, clearly, you might not refer enough new business to warrant a piece of the action. But that’s on you.
11) Speaking of niches, can you give me some insight?
Gladly. The first thing to understand is that, with this, a “niche” is one specific type of business (or product or service) in one specific city. That’s key. Because it means there are millions and millions of niches to select from.
Right? Because you’d take every business under the sun and multiply that by every city worldwide, and there’s your (almost) unlimited potential when it comes to niches to choose from.
Now. That said, not every type of business or every city is going to be a home run. So you wanna be smart and select niches that virtually guarantee your success.
Some things to consider:
First, city size. You want it to be big enough to where there are quite a few different businesses from which you could generate leads for.
That way, if one, or two, or three pass on your offer, you can keep going down the list till someone wants to pony up and pay you monthly.
Also, if you’re familiar at all with small towns, you’ll know that a lot of times, if they’re super small, everybody already knows, “Oh if you need a tow, call Larry.” Right?
Not that an improved web presence wouldn’t help, but Larry doesn’t necessarily need more leads from Google – he automatically gets the business anyway because he’s the only tower in town and everyone knows him by name and has his number saved in their phone.
Now that would be a really really small town – like maybe 3,000 people or less.
But even with populations under, let’s say, 20,000, you need to be careful. Why? Because there just may not be enough search volume to produce enough new customers, even if you had a business owner who’s willing to pay.
Then, the flip side of that is, if you go too big, it may be so competitive that it takes you forever-and-a-day to get ranked in Google, and you lose interest and give up.
So my recommendation, based on what I was taught, and what I’ve seen, personally, is this: if you’re brand new, I’d look for something in the 50,000 to 400,000 range. At least to start with.
And if you’re more experienced or want the project to make you more per month, you might play in the 400,000 to 1,000,000 population range. Again, that’s going to take longer to pop off, but it’ll likely produce more money each month, too. (More people, more searches, more leads, more sales, which makes you worth more. Make sense? Good.)
Secondly, now that we’ve got a good idea of city size, you want to look for something that’s a little less obvious. If you just go after the same top-of-mind types of business that every other digital marketer is targeting, you’re just making unnecessary competition for yourself.
So I like to stay away from doctors, dentists, chiropractors, lawyers, plumbers, roofers, etc. If they come to you, once you’re established, hey, that’s a different story. But I’m talking, when you’ve got no previous clients or proof or momentum, and you’re doing the “results in advance” angle, why not go for easy wins?
And when you really start digging, you’ll see, there are so many awesome, under-the-radar niches that no one else is going after.
Some examples that I’ve seen others succeed with, include:
- Popcorn ceiling removal
- Tankless water heater repair/maintenance
- Backyard putting green installation
- Paver installer
- Cool/Kool deck repair/installers/maintenance
- Residential/commercial epoxy flooring
- Palm tree trimming/removal
- Dumpster rental
- Hoarding clean up
- Mobile window tinting
- Commercial kitchen hood repair/cleaning/maintenance
- Bounce house rentals
- Residential/commercial window cleaning
- Interior/exterior painting
- Party bus rental
- Wedding videographer
- Laser hair removal
- Tattoo removal
- Concrete contractor
And that’s not even scratching the surface. In fact, here’s a bunch more. But as you can see, sometimes it’s just something less obvious, and sometimes it’s a sub-niche or specific service that happens to get good search volume, that can be a great money maker for you.
Now, given those examples, I bet you could brainstorm dozens more that no one else is even thinking about, let alone serving with SEO or lead gen or even Facebook ads.
And then, if you keep your eyes and ears open, and pay attention to who you’re doing business with, and what kinds of local services you need, as well as everyone you talk to regularly, you’ll start to uncover more and more.
But there’s still more to consider. Such as, thirdly, you wanna factor-in margins. Or basically, how much will the business owner make, roughly, if you were to refer them one new customer?
Most times, you can do a Google search and ballpark it. Or ask someone you know in that space. Or heck, ask someone you don’t know in that space. Or, if all else fails, just try to use common sense.
Like, say you went after bounce house rentals. Do you think there’s a lot of overhead in that niche? Nope. Once they’ve bought the bounce houses, what else is there? Paying some college kid a few bucks to drop it off and pick it up? That’s about it, right?
So that’s what you want. Something where there’s plenty of profit from each new customer you send over. Which leaves enough meat on the bone for you to get yours.
And then the fourth and final consideration, I’d say, is to think about lead flow. Like, how often are people purchasing (and thus searching for) this product or service? And do a large percentage of residents in that town buy it? And is the demand for it steady year round? Or seasonal?
Depending on the answers, you can steer yourself into a niche that makes more sense for this renting little websites strategy.
Side note: speaking of seasonal niches, like pool cleaning or snow removal (both solid!), don’t write those off. It’s easy to say: “Well, I wouldn’t wanna do that because three-quarters of the year, it wouldn’t make me any money.”
But, if you do it right, those can make just as much as steady, year-round niches. How? Because you might do huge volume when it’s “in season.” Like, if it makes you four times as much as an average website, for only a fourth of the year – annually, it still ends up being the same as the others.
That nugget, alone, can help you discover some pretty cool niches.
And, the last thing I’ll say on niches is this: don’t think you can only do this in your own city. Or state. Or even country. That would severely limit you. You don’t have to meet these business owners in person or even talk to them on the phone if you don’t want to, so why not cherry-pick the very best niches, globally? I mean, once you give these people a taste of your luxury lead-getting service, they’re pretty much sold. From there, you can use email, text, even social media to close the deal. Right?
So don’t say, “Oh my city sucks. Poor me.” Just pick a new city. Even if it’s thousands of miles away. Poof. Problem solved.
12) Okay, what about building the actual website?
It’s honestly one of the easiest parts. There’s all kinds of drag and drop website builders out there today, so you don’t need to be a coding nerd to figure it out.
Weebly is stupid-simple. Or, if you’re a WordPress fan, that works too.
Either way, you wanna get a domain that tells Google what your site is about. This, believe it or not, still does give you a head start when it comes to ranking. (Even though most people don’t think it does. You’d be surprised. Very little has changed with search engine optimization over the years.)
Anyways. An example, if you were going into cool deck repair, say, in Miami Beach, Florida, would be:
See what I’m saying? You’re kinda getting the main search term plus city right there in the domain. Although, I didn’t add “repair” because it would’ve been crazy-long.
Try to find a balance between including the main word or two people are gonna be searching for – plus city – without it looking like a sentence (LOL).
From there, add some pool deck pics (iStock is my jam), a few paragraphs, bullet points, etc. Not sure what to say? All you have to do is look up a few, in this case, pool deck repair websites, and summarize what they’re saying. Don’t copy, obviously. It’s not cool, plus if your website has any “duplicate content” on it, it’s that much harder to rank in Google. K?
Last, add an email intake form and a local phone number (something with the same area code as the city you selected), and make sure you can track and forward every email and call that comes in, since this is how you’ll get paid, Thilly.
Anyhoo. That’s about it, to start with. Once you have a legit-looking home page, you can hit publish and let the ranking begin.
Then, once you’re ranked and you have a paying client, you can go back and add more pages for other services they offer and cities they serve… to scoop up even more leads.
You can also tweak your home page content (the bare bones stuff you launched with) to better align with your client’s. For example, you could use their pics, even their logo, especially if that’s what they would prefer. And, if it’s in an industry where you need a license or something specific on the website, to be in compliance, you can add theirs so you’re on the up-and-up.
13) So how do you get ranked exactly?
Through, what’s called, citations and backlinks. Which are basically “votes” for your little website. And since Google’s algorithm operates like a popularity contest, the more you have (and the better quality they are), the faster you’ll jump to the top of page one.
Now, you can do these manually. Or outsource them. (Just Google “citation services” and “backlink services.” Although, you gotta be careful because most of ’em are total garbage. That’s what sucks. You can waste a lot of money on trial-and-error, trying to figure out which ones actually work as advertised.)
So a better option, I think, is to team up. Have some friends do it with you and/or network with other entrepreneurs who’re ranking and renting small sites, and strategically “vote” for one another.
It’s much faster. It’s also essentially free. And sure, it’s “gray hat,” but who gives a f*ck? Last I checked, you don’t owe Google nothin’. Besides. If the other top players are doing it, you’re forced to follow suit, if you wanna compete.
To me, it’s no different than doing six over, on the interstate, so you don’t get run over by that semi barreling atcha. You’re never gonna get pulled over just goin’ with the flow.
Same with link building. Be smart about it and you’ll never get “slapped” by Google.
(Seriously. You’d be surprised with what you can get away with, and how much money you can make for these local biz owners – and you, and your family – simply by being willing to bend the rules a little.)
14) Okay, that said, still, doesn’t it take months and months to get ranked?
Nah. Not when you go after “low-hanging fruit” and pair it with powerful votes (like I just said). Some projects pop to page one in a matter of days. Others, can take a week or two.
But yeah. If you pick a cutthroat niche – especially one that’s in a big-ass city – it could take a month or more to rank. Even then, if your link game is strong, you can bulldoze your way to that front page pretty damn quick.
15) Cool, cool. So, on average, what’s one of these rank and rent websites worth?
Anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand a month, again, depending on your niche and city selection, and, of course, how many search terms you’re ranked at the top of Google for.
But really, once you get the hang of it, you can steer your way to the “rent money” you want outta each website. Like, if you want $5k per month per site, no sweat, just go into a more lucrative niche with higher search volume… and be ready to work a little harder.
Or, keep shooting layups. That’s okay too. Some people like to do the bare minimum and not have to build a buncha links, and squeeze a few hundred a month outta each site.
16) How many can I make?
As many as you want. In fact, you can really ramp up fast by finding a great niche, then staying in that lane.
Like, instead of jumping from niche to niche, just duplicate the first site, adjust the content for a different city, land another client in that same niche, then do it again… and again… and again.
Who knows, maybe, 90 days in, you’ve got 15 bounce house rental sites, in 15 different cities, each averaging, say, $600 per month. Hey, not bad. That’s six figures a year in semi-passive income.
Now keep going.
17) That sounds way too easy.
I agree. It does. But, like Tim Ferriss says, most things are simple – just emotionally difficult to act upon. Like losing weight. Everyone knows the formula; few follow-through. This is no different.
Everyone wants to research and read and watch videos about local lead gen., but nobody wants to roll up their sleeves and do the damn work.
18) What if I do (wanna do the work)? How can I learn more about the rank-and-rent model?
Then I’d suggest you watch these videos carefully.