Signing up as a hosting reseller allows you to sell hosting services to your customers. This makes an ideal solution for those who want to sell hosting services without the capital expense of buying servers and the related infrastructure that goes with it. This post will discuss the benefits of hosting as a reseller, as well as five tips on how to attract more hosting customers to your reseller account.
Why reseller hosting makes a great platform for selling hosting
When you decide to host as a reseller, you get allocated a certain amount of disk space as well as bandwidth. It’s from this allotment that you can resell hosting to your own clients. What you would then do is create a custom hosting package that’s targeted towards your niche. Functioning as a hosting reseller gives you many of the benefits of having bare-metal servers without the high start-up costs. You can change reseller providers easily if your current provider is incompetent. In contrast, you would have to sell your servers and get out as a co-location contract if you were to buy your own servers for hosting your customers.
Five ways to market your hosting business
1. Use search engine optimization (SEO) to increase your web hosting site’s visibility in the search engines.
You should devote a member of your team to engage in link building activities that help promote your hosting businesses visibility. An easy start for a link building campaign is to submit your website to web hosting directories. Your hosting SEO could also include using social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to drive referral traffic to your business.
2. Advertise your hosting plans on web hosting forums
There are many active web hosting forums on the Internet where users are looking for trusted reviews on hosting providers. Customers will often not sign up with a hosting provider unless they see that it has positive reviews. In many cases, customers will want to see more than one positive review before they decide to sign up with a hosting company.
Let’s walk through an example of advertising on a web hosting forum. In this instance, we’ll choose Webhostingtalk.com. This is a web hosting forum that allows web hosting businesses to advertise their services. You would locate the section for Hosting Offers and drill down to the Reseller section. This would be the appropriate place to leave a post advertising your reseller web hosting business. In your advertisement, you want to mention many different data points about your hosting business.
- How much hard drive space and bandwidth your customers will be allotted.
- What kind of server technology your hosting is running (CloudLinux / Nginx / Apache / Litespeed).
- What kind of caching your hosting offers (CloudFlare / Varnish / Zend / APC).
- Whether or not you provide daily backups.
You also want to try and convince the reader why they should go with your hosting instead of others. Hosts are most often able to distinguish themselves by providing top-notch customer service. Keep in mind that hosting forums also have areas where customers can leave reviews. It can help if you give great customer service, as word will get around that you care about your customers. Word of mouth advertising is great for getting new customers through leveraging the satisfaction of your existing customers.
3. Start an affiliate program
In the previous section, we talked about word-of-mouth advertising. Word-of-mouth is great when your customers are so enthusiastic that they want to talk about your service with their friends. But in the real world, eager customers like these are hard to find, even if you provide stellar service. To help promote referrals, you can offer an incentive in the form of an affiliate program. Whenever an affiliate promotes your hosting using their special link, they will get a percentage of the sales price. It’s up to you as a hosting provider whether you want to have a one-time or recurring commissions.
How you setup your affiliate program will depend on what’s available from your existing host. If your host has provided you a WHMCS license as part of your reseller hosting setup, that billing software has an affiliate module built-in. You can also install free affiliate platform, but these aren’t usually very robust. Another option for free affiliate tracking is to use e-commerce tracking within Google Analytics.
4. Advertise coupons and other discounts
Everyone loves to get a good deal on services, and web hosting is no exception. You can offer a larger one-time discount (for example, 50% off the 1st month of hosting) or a smaller recurring discount. The trick with advertising coupons is that you don’t want to leave yourself with too little room for profit.
Another issue when advertising hosting coupons is choosing where to advertise. You don’t want to advertise on freebie websites as that will attract the wrong type of customer. Using a targeted ad campaign together with a coupon offer can be very effective. One particularly attractive option for hosting resellers is to target local customers. You can give them a promo code that’s only good for people living in a certain city, and help encourage sign-ups by advertising that you’re a local company.
5. Visit conferences and advertise in person
You can try setting up a booth at a professional convention that caters to your target demographic. If you provide web hosting targeted at private detectives, then perhaps you could setup a booth at a law enforcement convention. Las Vegas is the convention capital of the U.S., so it can pay to see what conventions are scheduled there in the near future.
Hopefully, this post has given you some ideas on how to attract customers for your hosting business. Marketing your hosting is one of the most important aspects of being a host. Once you get customers, you’ll have the cash flow needed for expanding your business.