Creating your own virtual real estate has become an extremely popular way to generate an income online.
In this article, I explore in more detail a bit about what virtual real estate is, but more importantly, what you will need to know to become proficient in this particular method of Internet marketing.
The term ‘Virtual Real Estate’, is used to describe the concept of a single person or company owning and operating multiple content-based websites with the sole intention or creating a profit, similar to how real estate developers will own multiple properties with the view of either selling them off or generating a profit from them in the form of rent.
Because it’s a way of generating income that I believe has a lower entry point in terms of cost to far more people than other forms of Internet marketing, I thought I’d look at it from the perspective of someone who is interested in learning how to get involved in this particular field.
So, read on and let me know your thoughts…
Virtual Real Estate
Internet marketing is a now mature industry, full of big players with years of experience and substantial resources, who can attract thousands of visitors per day to their websites.
Newcomers to this industry face an uphill battle if they want to rise above the thousands of other wannabe website owners and achieve any level of success.
As with most mature industries saturated with competition, the only way anyone can make inroads and capture some of the market share is to think out of the box and find a niche that they can dominate.
In recent years, this has led to a rise in the number of Internet marketers specialising in creating a portfolio of multiple low cost, income producing websites, designed specifically to market a niche product or products. This collection of website has been termed Virtual Real Estate (VRE), and the people who build and maintain them, Virtual Real Estate Developers (VREDs).
The idea behind Virtual Real Estate is actually very simple.
Firstly, a website is created which is promoted in various ways, in order to attract traffic. Once the website has reached a certain level of interest, various monetization methods are used to start generating a profit. This can range from selling advertisting space using AdSense, Yahoo Publisher Network or MSN AdCenter, or by promoting affiliate and CPA offers, or even simply by generating and capturing leads in a specific niche which are then sold to companies in that niche.
However, the prime motivating objective of a VRED is to get the first website up and running and making profits, then repeating the process time and time again.
Eventually, the VRED will have created a large number of websites, sort of like a Virtual Real Estate Empire, and although each website may only bring in a few dollars a day, the cumulative total of all the revenue streams combines to form a significant amount of money.
These websites, sometimes called niche websites, are usually fairly simple sites consisting of only a few pages. However, all the content on the website has been designed around a specific keyword or small group of keywords. The ultimate goal of the VRED is to get each website listed as number 1 in the Google search results for the particular keyword it is associated with, although anything in the top 5 positions is also considered an excellent result.
…ultimate goal of the VRED is to get each website listed as number 1…
A VRED must have the determination and tenacity to continually adopt new strategies in order to be one step ahead of the competition. Most VREDs are high achievers who are never willing to accept being second best.
In their eyes, accepting anything less than the number one position is a failure.
VREDs are always on the look out for new market opportunities, and are willing to take educated risks. If there is enough data that suggests that a particular market may be possible to conquer, a VRED will give it a go.
Conversely, a VRED will not waste time and energies on battles that will never be won. VREDs are realistic in their expectations and strictly adhere to the ‘fail fast, fail often’ rule. If something isn’t working they will investigate the reasons why and if necessary, will pull out of a failing niche if it is deemed a no-win situation.
VREDs only deal with the cold, hard facts.
Up until the last few years, the majority of website businesses were established using the same principles followed by traditional business. Namely, they provided a service or product to fulfill a gap or need in the market.
In most cases, this perceived gap in the market was at best a gut feel or rough estimate, and as a result, led to the failure of the website to crystallize a profit.
Over the last decade however, search engines like Google have allowed online business owners to reach a never-before achieved level of understanding about customer behaviour. Their search data, gathered over the years, can be analysed in great detail to get right to the core of a whole range of customers online buying behaviours, identifying exactly what they are buying, how these buying trends change over time and what market gaps may exist.
VREDs, using this vast amount of information and implementing sophisticated data correlation software, are able to not only identify these market gaps, but can also determine with a fair degree of certainty whether or not the market is viable, exactly who the competition is and what will be required to compete and conquer the competition and attain a 1st position ranking in the search engine results.
Armed with this information, an experienced VRED can have a website up and running with a top page ranking and producing income in a matter of a few short weeks.
So what skills are required to become a VRED?
To become a proficient VRED, you’ll need a wide variety of skills and abilities. But the diverse nature of online business means that almost anyone can use their unique experience and skills and leverage them to become a successful VRED.
A lot of being a VRED is pure commonsense and having the ability to put themselves in the customers shoes; understanding what a customer is looking for and whether or not a certain product or service will be in demand.
But in general terms, VREDs must possess the following attributes.
- Willingness to spend hours researching market niches;
- Patience and dedication to detail;
- Ability to take action and crystallize ideas;
- Ability to delegate design and/or research work;
- Ability to manage a lot of information;
- Ability to operate complex software tools
Being a VRED is an extremely interesting and satisfying Internet marketing specialization to be involved in as your ability to generate large sums of money is only limited by your imagination and ability to outsource the daily maintenance and monitoring tasks required.
Once the process of identifying a niche market, creating a corresponding website and monetising that website has been learnt, a VRED can simply repeat the process over and over again, and in doing so, is able to build an on-going income generating online business and achieve real financial freedom.