While providing mini site updates, I figured I would provide an update on CabCompanies.com, another mini site I launched last year. I bought CabCompanies.com on Snapnames in August of last year, and I used the services of Kevin Leto from Big Ticket Domains to build a database driven “mini site” with cab companies listed from around the US.
I believe I paid around $65 for the domain name, and I paid an additional $250 for the website, which includes the graphics, data, and the Adsense placement. Kevin has also been good about adding listings when companies have contacted me during the past year asking for a listing.
From October 12, 2009 to today:
Total Traffic: 2,853 visitors
Average Monthly Traffic: 238 visitors
Approximate revenue: Between $100 – $150 in revenue. It has also earned a bit more revenue from paid listings I added.
I think this is a great success for a couple primary reasons.
First, it’s earned somewhere in the ballpark of a 50% return on the development costs in a year. I believe I got a good deal on the domain name, but it wouldn’t have made much (if anything) as a parked domain name this year. The revenue isn’t much in the scheme of things, but if it can make $100 with no effort, it can certainly earn much more with added content and promotion.
Second, it’s set me up to where I could legitimately sell listings like I do on DogWalker.com, since traffic has been good without any publicity, link building, or other traffic driving tactics. If I was inclined to do more work, I could begin to offer upgraded listings with coupons, website links, email addresses…etc. Right now, I am not inclined to take on additional work.
I could also probably change tactics and sell leads instead of doing a database listing site – or I could add a lead gen form to each page and sell leads in an automated fashion.
One of my friends and colleagues runs a successful airport car service referral website, and he’s going to be the first person I email about this. Perhaps he’d be interested in buying the site to better monetize it since he’s already got the infrastructure in place.
In September of 2009, I wrote about the development of four websites, using Mike Cohen’s WannaDevelop.com for the project. Almost everything I do with my business is either a test or is in response to a test I’ve done, and I want to share the results of this test. Cohen’s company developed DubrovnikVacations.com, JerusalemVacations.com, EasternCaribbean.com, and ParabolicSkis.com.
Since the first article, I sold EasternCaribbean.com and ParabolicSkis.com, so those traffic results are not included below. The two sites I still own did not receive much (if any) traffic before development. I also only used one Adsense code for the two sites, so the revenue number is combined for both. The results from the last 12 months (October, 2009 – October, 2010) are below, although per Adsense TOS, I am not posting the number of clicks or the exact revenue number.
Total Traffic: 1,467 visitors
Average Monthly Traffic: 122 visitors
Total Traffic: 1,423 visitors
Average Monthly Traffic: 119 visitors
Approximate Total Revenue (can’t disclose exact # due to Adsense TOS): $70 – $90
As you saw from the initial article, the cost was $99 per 5-page mini site, and I did not add additional content . I also didn’t do any testing of Adsense placement, which would have been smart had this been a bigger or more important test for better domain names. The total revenue also includes a couple months with EasternCaribbean.com, which ParabolicSkis.com was never monetized.
All in all, I think the traffic numbers are pretty decent considering that traffic was non-existent at the start. Could I have done more with these two domain names? Of course, but they would have been at the bottom of my development list and probably would have earned nothing. I could also convert these into more comprehensive sites, but I will probably wait for a buyer to come around.
Did I yield a good return on this $200 investment (not considering the price of the names)? I think I had a decent first year return since I didn’t spend money promoting the sites, although the revenue has not yet paid for the development. The % return is strong compared to the stock market, but of course stock investments are liquid where you can get your initial investment back and I don’t know if i could get my investment back.
Later on I will post some advice about mini site development that I’ve learned over the past year. I’ve tested several different providers and done some on my own, so I think I may be able to offer some insight.