Proof of traction is something that depends on every domain, niche and site, but we usually start getting impressions and clicks in the first 2-3 months while the site is still being built. Most ODYS domains already have organic traffic on their own, something which tremendously helps with their future performance.
We do re-create the top 15-20 best URLs by links of the former site in order to preserve the link juice. We keep these pages for search bots/crawlers and use them to insert links pointing to our most important money pages, internally.
We also tend to 301 redirect the remaining pages to relevant new ones should those be hard to re-build due to the unavailability of content or just not enough links that would justify building the whole page as opposed to just redirecting. So we re-create all pages that have a lot of incoming links and we 301 the remaining ones that aren't that strong to most relevant new buying guides.
We focus entirely on 'best' type of buying intent keywords and the main reason for that is the final goal which is to get traction, improve conversions and generate sales with the site as soon as possible.
We're open minded when it comes to informational 'how-to' content/guides and are keen to create those in case the client asks for it. However, our tests show that informational content doesn't help initially and therefore it doesn't make sense to invest additional funds in non-buying guides. It's a good long term strategy though and these 'how-to' articles can even be monetized with display ads as an alternative means of revenue.
We are currently NOT offering affiliate site building services for 3rd party domains. We're a domaining company and we've kept affiliate site building and flipping as a private means of generating income for our business. The main reason we decided to bring it public, as a value added service to the domains we offer for sale is mainly because a large number of our clients would experience trouble building the site themselves, or/and totally lack time to do it, even if they know the ins and outs.
We did a survey asking clients about their most frustrating experience investing in domains and discovered that 9/10 would complain about not having enough time, resources and know-how in regards to building a proper site on the acquired domain, so we decided to take action and help.
People seem to be keen to scale their domain acquisitions as long as we can offer a solid affiliate site building solution with a clear and transparent long term business model in mind, that being selling a money making generating site for a 30-35x/monthly multiple.