Saturday Afternoon Updates | DomainInvesting.com
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Saturday Afternoon Updates

6

Here are a few updates on this nice Saturday afternoon.

  • I was a bit surprised to see Dating.com sell for $1,750,000 because I thought I saw that the reserve price was much higher. I was wrong, and it’s good to see this sale. I am looking forward to learning who the buyer was. I have a couple of guesses but will keep them to myself. Congrats to Moniker/Snapnames for the big sale, which comes on the heels of their $5.5 million sale of Slots.com.
  • If you get an offer from someone over email or via marketplace, do as much due diligence as you can. The most obvious things to search for are the person’s name, company name (from email or signature), and IP address. If those yield nothing significant, search for the domain name’s term in Google, the USPTO, and see who owns other extensions. Knowing the potential buyer is a critical step in any negotiation.
  • I was looking over my financials from 2007 and 2008 to compare them to how things are stacking up this year (2009 was a bad year so I am going to forget it ever happened :) ).  Although I have fewer sales this year, my revenue is better than 2007 year to date and a little less than 2008 which was my best year. Over the past couple of years, I focused on selling less names but focusing on much better names. The result is less time selling and more time to focus on other things.
  • Just a quick update on DogWalker.com.  It’s now in month 5 of existence and the site is drawing over 4,000 unique visitors monthly. This comes on the heels of reducing my ad spend on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, so it’s great to see the traffic levels remaining the same despite the costs decreasing significantly (attributed to good SERP rankings).  Right now, the site is up to 193 dog walkers, with just about all paying $49 a year on a Paypal subscription. Not too shabby for a domain name that had been unused by the previous owner for almost 12 years and only saw about 5 visits a day before launch. That’s close to $10,000 in annual revenue (even though it hasn’t been live for a full year).
  • CatSitter.com has grown much more slowly, but that could be due to the fact that I didn’t advertise it as much. Interestingly, CatSitter.com was parked for a number of years before I bought it, and I am having trouble with SEO for the site. I wouldn’t formulate an opinion based on one instance, but since both sites were built in exactly the same way at around the same time, it’s interesting to note that the non-parked domain is performing much better in SERP results despite having significantly more competition.  Both sites were built on WordPress.
  • I am looking to sell HorseStable.com.  I haven’t reached out to end user buyers for it yet, but I think it would either be useful as a directory of horse stables or an online store to sell horse stable supplies.  Let me know if it’s of interest. Also, in light of my two sales of Hong Kong domain names in the last month, I have a few more to sell. Let me know if you’d like to see the names before I put them on the market next week (the second domain still has my company listed as owner, but it’s in escrow and being transferred to Godaddy).
  • One tip to get some free traffic to your websites: post listings on various Craigslist city websites and encourage people to visit your site for relevant information. I am doing this with DogWalker.com, and it probably receives 25 visits/day from these listings.  Compared to paying Google up to $2/click, this is saving significant costs.

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (6)

    Jason

    Elliot,

    Nice post. Always enjoy the informative posts. I’ve managed to lower the Alexa ranking on the .org domain I acquired on my hometown. In addition, several of my domains are also ranked between 2.1 to 4.6 million world ranking.

    I started hosting the domains to inject live into them. I have a few questions regarding traffic. I have used Craig’s to drive traffic to my blog. However, users end to flag my posts.

    I noticed that you receive 40,000 unique visitors a month on your blog. How do you websites link up to you. You have thousands of Yahoo backlinks, as well a thousands of
    Altavista BackLinks and AllTheWeb BackLinks. How long did it take for you to attract backlinks? How do you attract links? How do other websites link to you?

    What is the most cost efficient and effective way to develop a blog such as yours? I don’t like the Go Daddy economy plan. I currently use Why Park to host my domains. Would you consider websites that are ranked under one million in worldwide traffic, successful?

    Go Daddy auction domains tend to push domains that are aged and have traffic. Is there any way to push domains registered in the same year? I managed to sell a few about 6 weeks ago. It took very little work to advertise the two domains. I put in infinite work since then, and seem to only attract spammers, instead of reliable leads.

    It’s discouraging to not make a sale. For now, I was looking to locate information on backlinks, starting a website like yours and how to improve my marketing approach. My current blog is magicwriter.blogspot.com. I forwarded magicwriter.net and magicwriter.info to create additional outlets to my blog.

    I contacted several end-users, and never receive any responses. However, I received one reply on a domain which a city owned nearly 9 years ago. It’s named after a small city in Morthern California. They considered the domain worthless. I happened to lower this domain’s traffic ranking below their .com and .org TLDs.

    I have one domain that would be perfect for a Texas nonprofit. My domain is exactly 5 characters that match their company’s
    initials, as opposed to them having a hyphen and the state after
    their name. The domain would be perfect for their national appeal. On their main website, the company and to
    expand their products and services nationally.I emailed the manager twice, and never received a reply. Should I call them, or consider mailing a letter?

    I’ve hoped for hits, but my approach has been ineffective since the two deals at the end of March. I used several free online advertising outlets. I’ve been able to sell any domains in an auction. Sedo has rejected me each time. Moniker never responds to at least reject my submissions. I have managed to list several on bargaindomains.com, which never receive any offers.

    I’m sensing that I’ll need to lower the traffic, attract backlinks and establish a page ranking. In the past year, I prepared hundreds of blogs, and place good resources on writing jobs and other valuable information. After investing a year into Magic Writer blog, it still hasn’t gain any exposure. I only have 4 followers, 10-20 unique visitors a day, and only a few returning vistors. I’m really discouraged. I only have 5 backlinks on a year old blog.

    ***Can you use Word Press to host domains at Why Park?

    Any advice would be great. I think a sale would get me out of this funk or a maybe a sponsor lead on my blog. Great article. Thanks again.

    http://Magicwriter.blogspot.com
    http://suisun.org

    May 15th, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Elliot

    @ Jason

    I am running out for the afternoon, so I apologize for the short reply. I will try to answer a couple of your questions now and possibly tomorrow.

    Other than using the All in One SEO plugin on my blog, I have never done any link building or SEO work for this blog. I can’t recall ever asking a single person for a link to my blog and I haven’t paid for any listings for the blog at all. I think the back links and other links are due to the content I write rather than anything else. I started the blog a few years ago, and up until the middle of last year, I wasn’t making much money from it. However, it’s taken more and more time to write, and with other things happening, I needed to either make this a profit center or cut it, and fortunately, I’ve been able to find quite a few advertisers who are very supportive.

    The best piece of advice I can give if you want to start a blog or a website is this: don’t half-ass it and write articles that you would personally want to read. It may take a while to pay off, but if you put in a strong effort, it should pay off. That’s one reason why I recommend that people develop websites about topics of interest rather than just any old domain name in an effort to make money. It’s alot easier writing interesting articles on topics that interest you.

    Regarding the non-profit, I personally wouldn’t reach out to them. The issue is that they could potentially see you as a leach trying to make a profit off of them and it could be a bad PR move.

    May 15th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Jim

    Elliot,

    I love what you have done with DogWalkers.com!
    I think that since CPC is dwindling and it is getting increasingly difficult to find end users for domains that aren’t “category killers”, such membership sites might be worth a go. I’d certainly be willing to give it a try myself. How did you go about developing it? Was it all your own work?

    Jim

    May 15th, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Jason

    Elliot,

    I appreciate the feedback. You actually wrote a lot, especially considering that it were busy. Thank you for taking the time to prepare the post.

    I decided not to move forward with the non profit organization. However, I feel the domain is perfect for them. They’re a company out in Dallas. The company initials are IIPOD.

    Their website is IIPOD-Texas.org. I have the domain IIPOD.org. I was thinking it would benefit them to acquire the domain, mainly because they plan to expand nationwide.

    I never received a response back from them – not even a courtesy reply to reject me. I received a response from an owner of a .com and .org regarding a .info domain.

    I would really like to learn more about the SEO plugin for your blog. Considering you only started your blog a few years ago, you managed to turn it into a $106K website. That is the current value of your blog due to the heavy traffic and the several thousand links.

    I just recently acquired JasonsTube.com. I want to develop the domain into a cool website. I will graduate next month with a Master’s in Public Administration. I also have a BA in Film & Media Studies from UCSB. Since my goal has been to write for film, I really feel that I can use my domains to further my career.

    Both my bog and career are on the back burner. They haven’t amounted to anything, so I’m really looking into using the domain gig as an opportunity to further my goals. I served in the Air Force in the 90’s, but have only gone to college, work in restaurants and have been writing since leaving the service. I decided on my writing goal before joining the Air Force after graduating high school. Essentially, I have tried to take the route you’re currently on, but have struck out, over and over again.

    I know how you feel about the writing part. I’ve spend numerous days and late nights producing articles. I helped many people accomplish their goals, but haven’t really succeeded due to lacking exposure and quality information.

    My blog has some good information. Yours has professional insight as to how the domain industry works. You had nearly 50,000 unique visitors in March. You developed DogWalker.com into a website, which has gone up 1000% since taking it over from the previous owner. Your Alexa traffic is higher than most companies.

    True value and keywords aside, your blog is worth 5 times as much as your Burbank.com. Estibot and Valuate don’t assess an accurate value on your blog because it seems they focus more on the keywords than on the traffic and the page ranking.

    As for back links, I’ve heard that websites can link onto your website, but I don’t know how it is actually done. On my Venezia-abc.com, I have thousands of back links and it has a Google Page Ranking #2. I wonder how other are able to attach to your website. It may be because you have written many articles.

    Next month will be one years since I started the blog. I have only 5 links attached my blog. That’s after producing 400+ articles over a span of a year. I also have many of my hosted domains promoting my blog, as well as my blog directing visitors to my hosted domains. I managed to use Why Park to develop Suisun.org. However, I want to do more with the domain.

    I have used Word Press in the past. Is there any way I can host my domains using Word Press? To write articles from my I-Phone? I have the Word Press app, which allows me to prepare posts. I can also e-mail posts to my blog.

    I like what you’ve done on DogWalker.com and CatSitter.com. These websites have many resources. Could I set up my Suisun.org and Suisun.biz to resemble those two websites. I plan to communicate with local businesses from the surrounding cities near my hometown. I currently live in Southern California.

    The Magic Writer blog has all sorts of information that covers a broad spectrum. I prepare many quality articles on many websites, but I feel that will have better earning potential with hosting my own websites. Google adsense has been an utter disaster on my blog. I have the same amount of clicks from last summer. Either I’m not attracting clicks or Google is not properly tracking them.

    I wrote a popular article on how to reduce traffic fines. It has been viewed thousands of times. I will be sure to attach your blog link on Magic Writer. I already put your blog link on Suisun.org.

    If you have a chance, and wouldn’t mind, would you please visit my blog just to view it. Let me know what you think. Some visitors lave comments, however, it is a grain of sand compared to what you receive on a daily basis. You interact with your visitors.

    I have extensive knowledge in many areas. I am well-versed in communication, public policy, business and film. It seems that when I write articles and provide information, nobody ever views them. I reviewed the traffic at statcounter.com. It shows where visitors go on my blog.

    Do you think petjobs.net has potential? You have dog and cat jobs on your two domains. I feel that .com always attract most of the attention. I take pride in my .org domains, which I know don’t attract too much attention. I do like my .org domains because they target popular areas and are fun to develop.

    I happened to pick up some good domains that have “roulette” as a keyword. In addition, I picked up a few good domains with “tube” in them. I left posts on your other articles before. I always appreciate your feedback. It is hard to find good information online. Maybe I should change my blog focus to specializing in one area such as academic writing or screenwriting tips.

    In short, I would like to learn more about how you set up your blog, use Word Press to host domains, how you created the two pet websites, and which techniques I can use to sell domains. I happened to lower the traffic on 20 of them.

    Do buyers pay attention to the back links or are focusing on the keywords. I haven’t made a sale in the past 6 weeks. I’m confident that when I make another sale, it will boost my spirits. Thank again for the information. Have a great evening.

    Regards,
    Jason
    suisun.org

    May 16th, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Geoffrey Gonzalez

    Elliot,

    Catsitter serp.. Isn’t there a network of cat websites.. Perhaps they have the pageviews and PRs….

    May 17th, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Bill

    Elliot,

    I appreciate this blog – it’s one of the few that regularly has detailed, informed and actionable information.
    Dogwalker.com has really caught my attention, as I have trying to figure out what to do with similar names. Are you using a script/special theme for the site – or is it just a standard WP theme that you had customized?

    May 23rd, 2010 at 7:56 pm

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