Passive income is something all side hustlers would love to have. This is because most side hustles trade time for money. When searching for an opportunity to create that passive income, you may want to consider rank and rent.
Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with an entrepreneur who has created this passive income side hustle. His name is Luke Van Der Veer. Luke ranks websites and rents them out for a monthly fee. He says it’s basically owning digital real estate. I spoke with Luke about what led him to this particular side hustle.
Escape The 9 – 5
For many who have a side hustle, the ultimate goal is to escape the 9 – 5. For Luke, it was no different. Luke went to school for marketing management and got a MBA. His first job out of school was working for GE, the 6th largest company in the world, doing human resources.
Within a month Luke knew he didn’t want to do this. He had people who had been there for 40 – 50 years telling him how great it was and that they would be getting a pension soon. But, the pensions were now gone and Luke hated the 9 – 5 grind. He knew he didn’t want to spend another 50 years working with the hope of someday having enough money to retire. So, he started for look for a flexible side hustle that would allow him to escape the 9 – 5.
Luke tried a bunch of different things. First he tried MLM, for 3 ½ years and experienced some success. However, it wasn’t the passive income model it’s made out to be because you spend endless hours in meetings and traveling to conferences for trainings. He also had to sell to his friends and family, and while he said it was a good learning experience, it just wasn’t fun to do.
Luke’s next idea was to try Facebook ads. He again has some success, but ultimately didn’t enjoy the daily management and needing to come up with new creatives when ad fatigue set in.
Frustrated, Luke tried to create a passive income with an eBay store, thinking he could get it going and then hire someone to fill in. He and his roommate started and built the business to $18,000/month in 6 months. But with hiring troubles and complicated listing requirements, the income again wasn’t passive.
Luke then moved into SEO and started freelancing, before starting his own agency. He picked up a bunch of clients before realizing that he didn’t want to be doing the client work. That’s when he learned how to rank and rent websites as a side hustle from home.
The Website Rental Business Model Dream
Luke became interested in doing SEO after coming across a video of a guy on YouTube standing on his penthouse balcony looking out over his yard and explaining how it worked. The man in the video attributed his success entirely to lead generation.
The advertisement explained that local businesses aren’t going anywhere and that many business owners don’t know how to generate their own leads other than by referral or word of mouth. Or, they pay thousands of dollars for help from a marketing company, and may or may not get results. It’s a wide-open market, and with thousands of niches to pick from, the competition isn’t bad either if you choose the right ones.
Luke thought if this is legitimate, it sounds really good, so he hopped on a call and ended up purchasing a course for $5000 to learn the skill set.
How To Sell Websites To Local Businesses
When creating rank and rent websites, you start by finding a niche where you think you can make a profit. You rank the site at the top of the search engine to get the customers coming in, and then you rent it out to a company that will pay you a monthly fee for the customers you generated.
Luke gave an example of creating a website for a roofing company. Customers call in to get their roofs fixed and replaced. Luke then calls an actual roofing contractor and says, I have all of these customers who want roofing every month, pay me $1,500/month and I’ll send you everybody who comes in through this website. It’s an exclusive deal for that roofing contractor.
Luke explains that if you set up the website correctly in the beginning and get the site to the top of the search results, your rankings generally don’t move much. Your website just sits at the top and attracts new customers on autopilot. He states that the main reason people fail at this is that they follow the poor-ranking advice littered across the internet.
The Essential Elements For Renting Websites To Local Businesses
Research Rank And Rent Niche, Location, And Keywords
The first thing you want to do is choose your niche and location. You are looking for local businesses that rely on leads. It’s also a great idea to select companies that sell high-ticket products or services. This way, the leads the client gets are worth more, and they will see the value in paying the monthly fee to obtain those leads.
You also want to look for cities that are not too big, or it will become costly to compete. Alternatively, you don’t want a city that is too small as there will not be enough people searching for the service you are trying to rank for.
Here are 25 examples of good local lead generation niches…
- Accountants And Tax Specialists
- Deck Builders
- Tow Truck And Collision Services
- Martial Arts Instruction
- Kitchen Remodeling Service
- Spas And Hot Tub Dealership
- Flooring Contractor
- Interior Decorating
- Window Installation
- Dance Studio
- Gymnastics Instruction
- Bathroom Remodeling Service
- Gutter Cleaning And Repair
- Health Insurance
- Homeowner Insurance
- Car Insurance
- Junk Removal
- Investment Services
- Rental Vehicles
- Used Car Dealerships
- Duct Cleaning
- Beauty Salons
You’re also going to need to do some keyword research to help you create content for your website.
To do this, you are going to use your niche and location and do a Google search. Now you will see which sites come up in the search results. Because these sites are already ranking for the services you want to rank for, they offer an excellent place to start your research. With a tool like Ahrefs, you can enter your competitor’s domain and see what content is performing best on their site, along with what keywords they are ranking for.
Choose A Domain Name
Choosing a domain name for your site is the next crucial step. You want to ensure that you create a professional website that customers will choose to engage with and give their contact information.
There are 3 domain types you may choose from, exact match, partial match, or branded domains. Generally, selecting a partial match domain name will be your best option. A branded domain can work against you when you want to rent it out to a company. And an exact match domain can be great if you can get them as they carry a lot of weight in the SERPS.
You can purchase a domain name from sites such as godaddy.com or namecheap.com.
Website Content And Optimization
Now that you have done your research and have your domain. You’re going to need a website. An excellent resource for building a website with free template and plugin options is WordPress. Also, because of WordPress’s popularity, there are endless user forums and Youtube tutorials that you can use for free.
The content on your website is what is going to drive the traffic. Remember content is crucial. Minimally, it would be best if you had a Homepage, About Page, Services Page, and a Blog.
You will want your site to be keyword-focused with the content, which will drive traffic to your site. Again, look at the research you did from your competitor’s sites to get a good idea of the content you should have. Then make your content better!
Use your blog to drive traffic with keyword-focused articles. Make sure you are creating content that is valuable to potential customers. Contractors can use tips and tricks posts that help explain how to solve problems a potential customer has. It would be best to post as often as possible and a minimum once per week.
Google My Business And Google Maps
You will want to create a Google my business listing for your local site. Why? If you search for local business services, you will see that the companies with a Google Map Pack listed above the other listings. That means that they get more clicks and more potential clients for the business.
There is no reason not to have a Google My Business listing as it is entirely free. It also creates confidence in a local consumer’s eyes when there is an address attached to the business.
Google My Business also allows the opportunity for users to leave reviews of your business. So if the service is excellent, this can help build authority with the local landscape. You can also use these reviews to learn what clients like about the business and use that as copy for the website content.
Renting Your Lead Generation Website To Local Businesses
By this point, you now have a website ranked at the top of the search engine results for your niche and location. You also have leads coming into the website. Now it’s all about finding a business to rent the website from you. But don’t worry, this isn’t the same as selling SEO services, as there is already a working business here.
There are several ways you may wish to approach local businesses. The key is that you want to let them know that you rank number 1 on Google for the keywords they want to rank for and that you have leads coming in. Then you can ask them if they would like to have these leads for their business.
- Send emails to local businesses to tell them about your lead-generating website.
- Send Facebook messages to introduce yourself and your services.
- Post your services in local online business groups.
- You can walk into a local business and talk about your website in person.
- You can call a local company and explain the benefits you are offering.
Another strategy you may wish to employ is to send a few leads out to several businesses. This way, they can see that you are indeed able to offer what you say. A great benefit of this strategy is that if one of the leads you send them converts into a customer, you have a pretty good chance of securing a contract with that business.
Benefits Of A Rank And Rent Website Business Side Hustle
A major benefit of a rank and rent website side hustle is that you’re able to provide potential clients with results in advance. You don’t have to pitch that you will help them rank number one on Google in 6 months because you already have that ranking. This proof makes it a lot easier for the customer to see the benefit of paying you, as the leads are already coming in.
Another great thing about starting a side business with the rank and rent SEO model is that you can work from your laptop from anywhere. You can also choose your own schedule.
Luke told me that rank & rent is the closest thing you can do to have residual income without owning real estate. It’s the same as if you bought a building and rented it out to tenants. This is just a digital asset being rented out to a business. Websites are simply digital real estate, and you have the opportunity to become a landlord for far less money than owning physical property.
Luke explains that building rank and rent websites are a great side hustle idea because it only takes a few of them to replace a full-time job. And once your rental income passes your salary, you can quit and never have to work for a boss again. Even if you own a business already, these lead generation websites attract exponentially more customers than you’d ever get from word of mouth.
Plus, you don’t have to worry about your client letting you go once they have achieved the Google search rank, as you own the website. You can even decide you would like to sell it outright if you choose.
Learn How You Can Create A Passive Income With Rank And Rent Websites
Luke told me that anyone can have success earning a passive income with rank and rent websites, but they will likely need some training. Luke made $26,000 in his first 6 months but put it all back into the business trying to make it faster and better. That’s why he created Digital Real Estate Coaching, to help others learn the process and avoid wasting time and money along the way.
Luke’s website, digitalrealestatecoaching.com has a free training video that will show you…
- How to use the Digital Real Estate business model to create a passive, recession-proof income working online, part-time.
- How to build simple, drag & drop websites to generate an endless supply of customers for any local business, anywhere.
- How to get businesses to pay you week after week WITHOUT being good at sales or cold-calling.
- The ONE software he uses to automate 90% of his business.
You can book a call and speak directly with Luke to see if it’s a good fit to work together.
I asked Luke if he could share some information about clients that were doing great things with his program. He told me about a concrete contractor who set up a site for pool deck repair and is now making over $20,000 per month with that one website.
Luke also has a friend who owns a construction company and wanted to do paving as a side hustle. In the past 2 weeks, he quoted $250,000 in paving work.
Take The Leap To Create Passive Income
I asked Luke if he had any advice for someone who is looking to start a side hustle. He said, people just need to take the leap. He knows because it was something he was really struggled with when he got started. His salary at GE was $46,000, and the course was $5,000. So, the investment was big and there wasn’t really a relationship built with the person he bought the course from. He just really wanted time freedom badly and resolved to figure it out and make it happen.
Luke said, “People need to take the leap because what’s the alternative? You just work forever? Even if it’s not this, take action and do something to change your situation it’s the only way!”
Visit Luke’s website Digital Real Estate Coaching to learn how to start building your passive income by ranking and renting websites.
If you’re looking for more side hustle ideas, be sure to visit the Side Hustle Catalog.