Hows that for a trashy headline grab, I'll wait the exceptional click through with baited breath .
Finding an EMD that's worth something is in itself a bit of art form, I have exact match domains no1 on G across the board that turn mere 450 visits a month. Now this is google so that's 400 spammers and 50 visitors, trust me unless its a niche you can monetize to the hilt that's useless. So do not be seduced by every EMD you stumble upon, however if your EMD has some search gravity there are a few ways to leverage real value out of it.
Unless you have a killer EMD the problem often is that it does not convert, sadly the conversion rich domains are already taken or the competition has already fine tuned their incoming traffic to steal all the money traffic. So even with content matching your domain and the no1 google spot for your match its not always a guaranteed money site, despite the search volume. However there is advantage to ranking highly on google, it is a form of authority, however small the niche google cannot ignore a top ranking page. Some place however small your site has just become a blip on their algorithm, which means you can leverage that to your advantage.
My google paranoia runs deep but like any decent foe, I have a fair amount of respect for them and they have become very good at synonyms rank a site well for rare stamps and watch your site appear on page 2 for collectable stamps. So if your exactly matched for great Tennessee Whiskey, then you may wish to start putting up articles about fine american spirits. I can basically guarantee that the whiskey site will rank above the drag racing site if they both launch articles on the same day. Over a long enough time if you love both your EMD niche and your target one enough they will both rank well....
So now on to tactics.
Take your EMD and write about that topic, constantly and on topic until it claims its rightful spot at no1. Then begin to branch out into better search terms, balance it though do not neglect from your supposed topic. For every two long tail articles make sure you have one that's a bulls eye. So if your EMD is make sour mash.com then be sure you make one post about distilling sour mash for every two you make promoting your affiliate link to johnny walker blue.
Use your EMD as an off site signal, make sure you have a squidoo, tumbler, etc That says getting-a-sofa.com is the best resource to discover innovative ways to get a great sofa. Then look for places to send honest and safe off site signals, some one looking to buy a Ottoman on facebook, link them to your article on getting-a-sofa.com/seating-choices being sure to mention your site is a great resource on furniture choices.
Then begin looking at your competitors long tail keyword choices and cross reference them against search data, look for terms you can skim a few visitors from. This not about visitors though, this is about traffic and googles apparent ability to match similar markets and target audience. Pretty soon your article on brushing a kitten, will be parked right behind your competitors article on cat grooming advice.
If you keep whittling away you will in no time find that your EMD has established itself and is doubling its traffic. Truth though you could replicate this without an emd and still chip away at valuable traffic. The reason this post even exists is as a warning do not get too hung up on your exact match search traffic, if that's all you have your under performing.
I have some other tactics to mention but I am curious to see what others think, may share or are doing to drag in exact match traffic? Whether via EMD or long tail search, the principles are similar.