How To Set Up and Host Your Domains
Once you have successfully won an expired domain auction and that domain has been released (or “transferred”) to your account, the first thing you should do is slap privacy protection on the domain.
There are two main reasons to do this: First, some argue that by making your domain private, it helps protect the domain from losing its PR. The theory is that Google will not know that the domain has changed hands, and re-evaluate the site’s PR or drop it altogether.
However, this theory is speculative at best, and some argue that this is not the case as well.
But regardless, the main reason you need to make the domain private is to PROTECT your blog network. You want as little information possible out there about the blogs you own in your network, and having privacy installed on all your blog network blogs is important.
Depending on the domain registrar, you can pay anything from a couple of dollars up to nine or ten dollars for this service, and you should try to pay for privacy protection as soon as possible after the domain has been transferred to you.
With GoDaddy, you will just need to navigate to the domain in your account manager, and then click the button that says “Add Privacy”. With some domain registrar’s (like Dynadot) you may be limited in the kind of privacy protection you can purchase (Dynadot only allows partial privacy), so you may want to check out a domain registrar’s policies regarding this before purchasing an expired domain from them.
2) Hosting Your Private Blog Network
One of the most important elements of your blog network will be that you have diverse C-Class IP addresses for the sites in your network. There are multiple reasons why you need to do this, but one of the most important ones is to help safeguard your network.
If the blogs in your network have diverse IP address, plus unique nameservers and privacy protection installed, it will be much harder for your entire network to be found and/or sabotaged.
The second important reason you want diverse C-Class IP addresses is that they will make your blog network more powerful. Receiving multiple links from the same IP address lose their effectiveness. So in order to harness the full power of the aged domains you are purchasing, you want each of them to ideally have their own IP address.
There are many different companies that offer “SEO hosting”, although the quality of their services can vary. Some people also avoid SEO hosting, because they think such companies may be targeted by Google. I have never had any problems to date, but I do spread my hosting network out between multiple hosting providers (as well as taking the steps above), just to be on the safe side. Also, by varying the hosting companies I use, I make sure I also get some geographical diversity. Some companies may offer you different IP addresses, but all the IP addresses are still located in the same city or state.
The big advantage of using these companies is that you can get different C-Class IP addresses for $2 a month or less. But as I said, not all providers are reliable. I suggest you check some of the online forums for reviews of the different providers (for example, TrafficPlanet has a subforum at: trafficplanet.com/forum/24-hosting).
I will mention a few of the companies I use:
This was the first SEO type hosting company I tried, and it is still one of my favorites in terms of uptime and customer service. They are a bit more expensive than some of the cheaper providers listed below, but they allow you to create add-on domains and give you more space and bandwidth than many other companies. You are also able to add the domains yourself as you need them, which is nice.
5 Class IP’s with 20 GB of space and 200 GB of bandwidth runs $23.75 a month at ASeoHosting. This breaks down to $4.75 per IP.
I’ve used Indianets for over a year, and their service is certainly affordable. It is also fairly reliable, although you may want to use an uptime service to monitor one or more of your domains. Because of the small amount of bandwidth allocated, I have had problems with a few of my domains that have lots of pages or visitors every month.
Indianets is good for smaller satellite sites, but not for larger sites. Indianets does not allow add-on domains either, and you will have to email them to request them to add any domains to your account – which is a small hassle.
Their price is cheap: $10/month or $100/year for 5 IP address. But you only get 5 GB of space and 5 GB of bandwidth. This breaks down to $2 or less per IP address.
I’ve just started using SwitchSEO, so I can’t really give you a long term report on how well it works. But so far, all is good. They seem to have good customer support and the prices are comparable to Indianets – but you get a bit more bandwidth.
The price is $1.99/month per C Another options for those who use HostGator, is Hostgator’s seo hosting service: SEO Hosting. I haven’t actually used this service myself, but I do use Hostgator for other hosting needs, and I have always found them to be quite reliable. Their SEO hosting program is not the cheapest, but I would imagine it is quite reliable as well.
SEOHosting.com charges $7/IP for 5 C Class IP’s. You will get 20 GB of disk space and 200 GB of bandwidth.
For those who want to avoid using SEO hosting providers altogether, you may want to consider just getting a normal hosting account through BlueHost or a similar hosting provider. You can often get regular hosting for as little as $5/month from BlueHost and similar providers. If you go this route, you will likely have many more hosting accounts that you need to handle, so you should definitely use a spreadsheet to keep track of all of them!
3) Create and Set Up Unique Name Servers For Your Domain
If you already have some experience setting up domains, you should already know how to set up name servers. However, for your own blog network, the process is actually a little more complicated, since you will actually want to create unique name servers for each domain.
For example, when using a regular hosting account, you will likely be given name servers like ns53.domaincontrol.com and ns54.domaincontrol.com for your hosting account.
However, what we want to do is actually create new name servers for each of our accounts. For this, I generally have the name servers be similar to the domain name itself. For example, for epicslo.com, I would usually use something like ns1.epicslo.com and ns2.epicslo.com.
Unfortunately, each domain registrar works a little differently.
However the general process is usually similar.
For an example, I’m going to create some new name servers for my website for this guide ( blognetworkbasics.com ). I purchased this domain from Namecheap.com, so that is where I will need to go to create my new name servers.
After logging in, and selecting your domain name from your account page, you will need go to the page named “Nameserver Registration”.
There is a link low on the left hand column that you will click to go to this page, under “Advanced Options”:
When you click the “Nameserver Registration” button you will be taken to a new page, and there you will see that they will actually have already suggested the new name servers for you, based on your domain name.
As you can see, they’ve suggested I use ns1.blognetworkbasics.com, ns2.blognetworkbasics.com and so forth. You then input the IP address for my hosting account into two of the boxes to the right and click the “Add Nameservers” button at the bottom.
Next you will need to imput your new nameserver addresses. Here is how you will do it at Namecheap.com:
That’s it! It can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours for the new name servers to fully propagate across the web, and you may get an error message from your host if you try to set up WordPress on your site before this happens. If so, just be patient, and try again in an hour or two.
For instructions on create new name servers at GoDaddy.com, you can visit this page:
Keep in mind that you need to already know the IP address of where you will be hosting your domain when you are creating your unique name servers as well, so ideally you will have hosting ready for your site immediately when it is released to you.