Some sold, some bought & some earn.

It’s been a busy month.

Just want to cover a few questions, is Al still alive? Yes, you can follow him on twitter as always, both Al and my self are pretty busy with stuff at present, it’s easy to talk about things you do in the past as we did in the early days of SMM, it’s not always easy or advisable to discuss current projects that are maybe under wraps or things that are not for the general public.

I have sold a few domains over the last 2 months for 4 & 5 figures, notebooks & netbooks (.co.uk) are sold, that isn’t a reflection on the market or niche, in fact if your in the UK you’ll probably find another domain I own in the top 5 (usually 3rd) for ‘netbooks’ and that domain sells a netbook every day or so. I had a good offer for netbooks/notebooks so decided to cash them in, as I say though still selling netbooks every week. Also sold a site so had a few good enquiries in the last month which is refreshing including a pretty good offer for PCs & PCgames.

Since my last post on my 2 purchased established sites I haven’t found anything else of great value or potential. Still looking and still open to being contacted if you are selling. The two sites I bought cost $20,000 USD ($10k each). It’s been just over a month since I bought them. Looking at the stats May 14th to June 14th they earned $2513.35 for Adsense content & search so obviously very happy with that. With Animalinfo.org I have joined DMG as they run affiliate programs for people like WWF where you can earn commission on donations or subscriptions so I am looking to test that in the coming months to see if it can up earnings.

Apart from that the only other thing I can really comment on was that I bought a few small geographic domains, Ayr.co.uk which is a town with around 50k people, just up from Ayr is West Kilbride.co.uk where my gran stays 🙂 a ferry trip away is Arran.co.uk a close by island that I used to live on and Largs.co.uk which is just up from West Kilbride. So basically 4 places all pretty close by each other. Initially I am going to get a few basic posts done and a similar theme on each one. They are not huge places, although Ayr is a decent size, however they do have a tourism angle and after speaking to someone who ran a small town website with a population of around 10,000 very successfully I can see their potential so a nice set to work on. Geo domains seem to be more popular than and easy to check/contact & mine so I doubt I’ll buy anything more than my small set which has sentimental value as well as business/future income appeal.

About Scott Jones

Scott hails from the north east of Scotland and started earning online at the end of 2000 building websites for local businesses during which time he won an award from Lord Alan Sugar for Excellence in Enterprise. After having quite a bit of success with domaining Scott mainly runs educational evergreen websites which generate over 3 million visitors per month but is always on the lookout for a fresh thinking out of the box way to turn a buck. Follow on Twitter.

Comments

  1. What do you plan to do with the geo domains from a development perspective? I know it would be relatively easy to throw up a Ning site for each one, but where’s the revenue potential? Isn’t it quite difficult to attract local advertisers? Sure the payoff vs. time investment can’t be as high on these…

    Thanks for the update by the way.

    Justin Cook’s last blog post..When digital theft is a good thing!

    • Having a targeted area will mean the advertising potential could be quite potent, I believe if I can get local users involved as regards content then I’ll get the eyeballs to get the advertisers. I spoke to someone managing a really small town and the numbers they turned over were surprising.

      • I run a site for a small sub-section of Toronto. The sub–city is Etobicoke, and the site is http://etobigo.ca. We’re having the hardest time generating any revenue. Any ideas?

        • When I work it out myself I’ll let you know Justin 🙂 It has to come from local businesses so you need to prove you have the eyeballs of their target audience – tie that in with off-line leaflet advertising (sponsored by businesses to cover costs)

        • I would imagine that local business would be the best way to go and then naturally any traveling agencies that has trips to the specific areas.

  2. Hi Scott,

    I know of someone who has a geo site that basically has a listing of every single shop/business in a village. Each listing includes a photo of the front of their business office (particully in the case of shops). He then charges them for the listing (presumably having a rubbish basic view if no money). He does nicely from it.

    Since it’s actually useful, it gets good traffic.

    Dan

    Dan Harrison’s last blog post..Getting the best from your Web Hosting Company

  3. I like the idea of local/geo targeted domains. Don’t know how difficult it could be to attract local advertisers. Would love to read an update on this as soon as possible.

    Markus’s last blog post..Wohnung mit Dachterasse in München mieten

  4. Scott,

    Did you make a profit on the netbooks sites or did you get what you paid for them?

    • A very good profit was made on them but I can’t go into specific numbers. I had already raised money for sites so didn’t need to sell them, hence it was a fairly tempting offer.

  5. Scott,

    My accountant said that for capital gains purposes, I, as in me and not my company should own the domains I have, and lease them to my company.

    Are you able to provide a standard domain leasing agreement for me to draw up a contract with….er….me?!

    David

    • For a partnership I think your ok to own them but yes as a Ltd company you would lose out on CGT if you sold a domain so better to keep them out of the company and owned personally.

  6. Geo domains are a pretty good niche imho. Okay, it possibly isn’t the highest paying, but I like Dans idea.

    One for the long term though. Netbooks and Notebooks may not always around…but Largs will be!!

    It better be! Have some great memories of having a Nardinies ice cream walking along the front many moons ago :o)

  7. I like the idea of local/geo targeted domains. Don’t know how difficult it could be to attract local advertisers. Would love to read an update on this as soon as possible.

  8. Hi Scott. Out of interest do you target a specific niche and set of established websites within that niche as a strategy, or do you buy sites individually if they look a good buy? I only ask because these Geo domains seem off the typical beton track for you. Maybe they were offered at a great price and were too tempting to refuse?

    Frog’s last blog post..Antivirus Plugin For WordPress

    • I do like to work in a niche with more than one site so in this case I got one domain at a great price and then ‘me being me’ decided to see how many I could get at decent prices close by as a small set to make developing them out worthwhile. Also a heart by as it’s an area I used to live.

  9. That’s funny about the local domain, only yesterday I was telling someone how it can actually be easier to make money from small town domains than hugely popular ones. For instance people are tempted to start a travel websites about Venice, Berlin, Paris etc because thy’re in the top 150 tourist cities, but the only problem with that is loads of other people have already beaten you to it. If can often be easier to make by creating a site for a place that doesn’t have one yet, or very few, so that when the few thousand people search for Yoshkar-Ola (that was my example) your site on Yoshkar-Ola will come up top because there aren’t any other sites to come up… So Venice might get millions of searches, but if you get none of the results because the market is already swamped, you’re better off getting 90% of the hundreds or thousands of searches for Yoshkar-Ola, or Arran or Ayr etc.

  10. Hey Scott

    Brilliant news.
    You have inspired me to try find some websites to buy… question is… how on earth do you find them?

    I tried searching for random things, expanding the search, and looking for older / undeveloped sites but so far only found one (and they didnt want to sell).

    Any tips on trying to coerce someone into selling?
    The reason this one person didnt want to sell was nostalgia mainly…

    Thanks
    Chris

    Chris’s last blog post..Get your Adsense earnings reported in your own currency

    • Yeah nostalgia has been getting in the way a lot with me too, I say I would host it and my wife want to build on what they have done as she has an interest in that topic, to update it – that often helps if it hasn’t been updated in a while. Finding them would be another post once I am done, I downloaded a list of site that should get good traffic and I paid someone to put them in a frame where I can click through them looking for old sites, I have looked through about 8000 sites I reckon, boring but always a chance of finding a gem!

  11. I think the idea of the location URLs is a good idea, because the sites will be pretty easy to build up. I don’t think it would be too hard to find local businesses to feature on the site – they tend to like locally run things

  12. Hiya Guys & Girls

    Your UK market observations are really much more helpful to me as a South African based entity, than US observations.

    I just found your blog, and will be posting comment under articles and blog posts of yours.

    We’ll chat soon!

    Jacques

  13. The city based domain network is a very good idea. It makes a lot of sense to use multiple sites instead of just 1. You save a lot of time that way. You may even attract advertisers who do business in several of those cities. I’m sure the search engine geotargeting would like those domains.

  14. Good to hear you guys have been busy, with a portfolio thats constatly growing how are you finding the admin side of it all? Tracking and maintaining all those sites and domains must be a bit of pain in the butt?

  15. I have bought 10 domains recently, a couple with sites on them.
    Just setting them up now. Had lots of problems getting them transferred to my host who weren’t very helpful.
    They were very cheap but have good search volume and are all keyword specific so will spend the rest of the year ranking a couple of them and building up content, testing adsense vs affiliate ec.
    Once I am a bit more confident I know what I am doing and looking for I will increase to a 4 fig budget and buy a bigger site with solid (albeit small) income next year.

    Developing sites sounds and reads so easily! But it really is a lot of time/effort getting things done properly!
    I see understand why people give up after a while but this is my future plan and I already work at home self-employed so no quitting now.

  16. Unusual to find someone being so candid about their web enterprises.

    Always a good idea to have a good keyword in the domain name; SE0 fads come and go, but that’s still a golden ‘trick’.

  17. wow you bought the domains for 20k and in a month you’ve made almost 3k, that means that in 10 months you’ll get your money back and some. Good business

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