It’s been a busy but a good week for me, raised some money, sold some domains & more importantly bought a few websites which are (touch wood) exceeding expectations.
It was only 1 to 2 years ago that I thought although late to the party I should try and do whatever it takes to get a couple of great generic UK domain names, preferably on a budget and with a bit of luck, plenty emails and perseverance I got TVs & PCs & quite a few others.
Over the last 12 months my Adsense income took a pounding, other income levels remained good so while paying the bills was in hand I wasn’t as comfortable as I had been in the previous few years, so I decided early this year that I really needed to raise some funds and get some established sites, starting from scratch sucks, it’s not something I am good at and I am impatient. Also looking at my overall portfolio I have a good couple of earning sites, some good generic domains but really most of the income was still was coming from one or two sources leaving me feeling vulnerable.
I mentioned before I raised funds so really the last few weeks, and weeks to come, are about going shopping, I have acquired lists of websites from various sources, I won’t go into that now as I am still doing it, but it’s simple enough. I paid Ryan to knock up a script so I can sit and using frames click & load up each homepage one by one. It’s not complicated, it’s not exciting and just like when I research domain names you always get a nagging feeling it’s a waste of time because others must have done this before. Not always so, when emailing I have had responses like “I’ve never thought of selling”. Preferably I am looking for sites not polished, possibly neglected or under monetised. I guess for the most part I use gut instinct as soon as a homepage loads as to my interest, in 2000 sites I have browsed recently I have probably sent around 50 emails.
3 sites have been bought this week, one of which I will mention today. The site is animal info, a great informative website built over ten years detailing endangered animals throughout the world. This site really appealed, I have added adlinks at the top & analytics for tracking, it’s pretty much a plain text website with no design and loads of great information. It was also (seemed like) a long time in coming, my first email to the previous owner was on 4th April which received an immediate reply and negotiations went well from $5000 offered blind to an agreement at $10,000 USD for the site & domain, I never asked for stats as the site had not been updated in 2 years. The real delay came about as the seller didn’t want to use Escrow & didn’t want to give me his bank details, I had to get a bankers draft (cashiers check) made up in USD which took a week and then send through FedEx to his door. Oh and the owners email address was on the homepage so no complicated tracking down of owner, a simple email and within 6 hours a reply saying yes he would be interested in selling. Still, I was taking a calculated risk sending him the money up front.
The website looked a good buy, I guesstimated around 1000 to 2000 visitors per day, lots of good links and a really good resource, albeit a bit neglected in recent years. As soon as I got the site I used search & replace to put analytics across the site and it’s been a fun ride watching it over the last day or 2, the first part day produced 2600 visitors, more than I had envisaged, the next full day it had 5710 visitors and yesterday it had over 7000 visitors!
Wow! a real gusher when it comes to traffic, very exciting, I guess a good question to ask would be how much would you have paid for that website blind? Would you have paid $10k? The real value of an old established site with great content shows through when you look up the keywords, yesterday search sent 6,215 total visits via 4,108 keywords. That’s an awesome site, just like prime generic domain names these sites which were built over a decade and many of which now lie neglected won’t sit around forever, again just like generic domains there is a period of opportunity right now to offer a fair amount of money for something you can’t replicate anytime soon.
My plans for the site are not completely agreed upon, the site could be expanded to cover all info on animals and not just rare one’s, I have people willing to write for it, I guess the biggest concern for now will be getting it into a CMS, should I get a shared header,left, right & footer or should I get the site somehow put into a database CMS like wordpress for future posting/adding content. I’m not sure, if you have any ideas please let me know or if you think you could convert it into a manageable site for me for a fee then please get in touch with your thoughts & pricing. I think it’s clear from the traffic and the fact the biggest keyword brings in under 100 visitors that this site could be a big enough project to keep me going for some time.
Apart from that I bought a game site that gets 2000 visitors per day also bought for $10,000, it earned $40 yesterday so with any luck it could pay itself back in one year, I also have an offer on a hobby/information site which would get 1000-2000 visitors per day which could be a great little ecommerce or affiliate site. I think I am well on my way to achieveing the portfolio that I am aiming for, to offer more stability and enough to keep me busy on for some time to come, but ultimately maintenance free sites that earn a good living so that I can enjoy the summer and work as hard as I want to when I want to.