Hit a gusher!

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.Continue Reading

Edinburgh meet up 8th Nov

There is going to be a small gathering on Saturday 8th November in Edinburgh for a pub lunch/meet, so if anyone wanted to attend I’d recommend contacting Rob or posting in this thread on Acorn, any domainers/developers or internet orientated entreprenuers welcome. A month away so plenty of notice, I will probably be staying overnight if anyone fancies a pint :)

Edit: Phew, I was just about to post this on PCs.co.uk lol wrong blog, – must arrange my bookmarks better or change the login area colour.

Google is 10 Years Old, Good..Evil or just Life

September the 7th 1998 with $100k and four computers Google started up.
Today they are worth $xxxxxxxxxxx … let’s say for arguments sake $150 billion

Whatever way you look it it …..it makes me feel like I’ve been in a coma as far as productivity goes, Google has managed to penetrate almost everyone’s lives from mail to maps to writing to even a browser. Personally I have not been overly impressed with much Google has done in the last 2 years apart from the very recent browser Chrome which I have totally switched to and love, that aside considering their muscle, wealth and power they can waltz through failures without breaking a sweat which can be a bad thing, but when they get it right and sometimes they do…they are very very good.

Either way….. for tomorrow………. Happy Birthday Google

Google tool gets even better!

Is it me or is this tool getting even better, to be fair this was possibly already there last week (I didn’t notice), following on from last week when I noticed the keyword tool gave numbers, it was mentioned that some people likes the advertiser competition, well now you can display all the data your going to need with average CPC & advertiser competition.

I just did it this morning for a domain that was caught for me for me by DropSystem.co.uk, recently I pickedup mobilematch.co.uk which is a real nice domain and this morning it was exhibitiondisplays.co.uk, both cost £20 which will change to £30 I think, plus Nom transfer fee of £11.75 per domain. ExhibitionDisplays is a nice keyword domain, so I wanted to check and see if there was a little bit of traffic for the term:

 

There is a drop down menu that you can change to show all columns, now I can see there is a little ‘exact’ search traffic but really high competition and really high average CPC for ‘exhibition displays’  at £6.56 making this a nice little gem, thanks Google!,.. oh and thanks Simon & Dale for catching it 😉

Google Keyword Tool now shows numbers

Googles keyword tool has long since been a friend and an excellent resource… and it just got better!

In the past the average search data was just displayed as green bars showing most popular terms which has been handy for sure.

But now as of today I am seeing real numbers given for June search volume

 

EDIT: Make sure if your looking for specific data, after your search change it from Broad to Exact in the little drop down menu on the right

Success Alert – Entrepreneur Interviews by John Evans

Success Alert

Last year I was approached by fellow entrepreneur Scott Evans to be featured in his new book Success Alert Volume 2 (if buying see the end of the post for a discount code). In the book he interviews 10 Internet entrepreneurs with various different business models, I received a review copy last week and have just finished reading it and it’s a really cool book.

When doing the original interview I was on the phone with John for a couple of hours, we then bounced questions back and forth via email. As interviews go it was the most comprehensive one I’ve done and John tailored the questions to suit my business (reading some of my answers I use a lot of word repetition which is a pet peeve of mine, oops!), he did the same with the other writers and I learnt a lot and got a fair few ideas from them (annual revenues range from $60K to $80 million so there are some pretty serious players featured)

Other entreprenuers and their sites are:

  • Name: Al Carlton
    Main Site: Coolest Gadgets
    Business Model: Blogging
    Annual Revenue: > $300K
  • Name: CC
    Main Site: Edited to hide but is included in the book
    Business Model: Affiliate reward site
    Annual Revenue: $1 million
  • Name: CB
    Main Site: Edited to hide but is included in the book
    Business Model: Digital products and subscription based revenue models
    Annual Revenue: > $400,000
  • Name: ED
    Main Site (most popular): Edited to hide but is included in the book
    Business Model: Retail products – designer suites via eBay, won site and Amazon
    Annual Revenue: $1 million
  • Name: JB
    Main Site: Edited to hide but is included in the book
    Business Model: Product based, toys
    Annual Revenue: $6 million last year
  • Name: MS
    Main Site: Edited to hide but is included in the book
    Business Model: Subscription
    Annual Revenue: $60K
  • Name: RD
    Main Site: Edited to hide but is included in the book
    Business Model: Retail/affiliate (UK holiday market)
    Annual Revenue: $80 million
  • Name: TJ
    Main Site: Edited to hide but is included in the book
    Business Model: Blog network (130 blogs)
    Annual Revenue: $1.5 million

  • Name: BV
    Main Site: Edited to hide but is included in the book
    Business Model: Products, boating
    Annual Revenue: $25 million

As you can see from some of the revenues reported I’ve got a long way to grow :)

The book is organised by interviewee, with each asked specific questions relevent to how they’ve grown their business and increased revenue. Each interview is 20-30 pages in length, including a good summary of all pertinent parts, in total the book is just over 200 pages. Answers are both thorough and open, finding information on how much revenue different site generate is normally difficult if not impossible to do. So IMO Alert Success is a worthwhile addition to most entrepreneurs reading lists.

I must admit I hate long sales page but they seem standard (and working) practice with books of this nature. The book costs $77 , as I’m featured in the book John has kindly provided a $20 discount code (quote SA2ALC) so our readers can buy Success Alert for $57. If you’ve read it please let us know what you think.

Edit – I’ve been asked to remove URLs and names from this post, which as John is a good guy I’ve done, they are all shown in the book though.

Possible scam on domains and sites

There is likely a new scam email going about, seems to have been fired off repeatedly with many many people getting it all from different names and email addresses but with the same text so I’d be very wary, looks like a scam, the email I received goes like this:

I am interested in purchasing your web site xxxxxxxx.com . If you would like to sell it send me your phone number to call you.
I have cash to buy today!

Thank you

My email was from a ‘Phemie Dull’ aol email address, however the name/email address is different for others like Michael and Andrew, so just a heads up in case you get the same.

Can an exchange of emails create a contract?

Contract LawShort post and cannot go into too much depth for obvious reasons however I approached a company to buy a domain name, I offered £3000 to which I received a reply.

I advise that we are happy to accept your offer in the sum of £3,000 plus VAT

Excellent, that was 23rd April and I was over the moon so sent a cheque which was presented at their bank the next day and I later received an email to confirm receipt of payment and that the forms would be completed and sent on to myself, almost 4 weeks later I get a letter through the door this morning stating that

I apologise for the delay in this matter, however whilst discussing this matter with our solicitors we have been advised that we are not in a position to sell the item.

Argh, now what is just as worrying is communication with my local solicitor seems extremely at odds with what I have read, I was told:

An exchange of e mails is not sufficient to form a binding contract. I assume you did not have any written agreement other than the e mails. At first glance I would say you have no remedy here.

What?…that just doesn’t ring true, the main criteria for a contract would be

  • Offer
  • Acceptance
  • Consideration
  • Intention to create legal relations

From what I can find in reference to a binding agreement is that it can be done by email, especially seeing as they accepted my money, so now I have a refund cheque which I am unsure whether to cash as would that be acceptance of my refund, the reason I am frustrated is the domain is worth a lot more than £3k to myself especially if I could develop it.

So, don’t accept the first bit of advice you get from a solicitor!
I really need to find out whether there is a real reason they cannot sell or whether it’s a change of heart, I shall pursue it.

I am gutted, I have a list as long as my arm of deals which have not come off recently.

Advertising downturn and long term profitability

The downturn in advertising revenue is no myth, while small individual publishers can never be sure whether they are just have a bad day, week or month some larger publishers are seeing the same and few are being hit as hard as parking portfolios.

Parked portfolios consist of large companies with thousands of domains parking the pages and relying on parking revenue income from direct type in traffic, companies like DBS Dark Blue Sea with the size of their portfolio can really give you a more measured look into the bigger picture.

DBS releases their financial profit guidance with it’s first quarter performance to March 31st
http://newsstore.smh.com.au/apps/previewDocument.ac?docID=GCA00839750DBS&f=pdf

The report is really quite interesting and well worth a read.

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Twice as many want to work for Google as themselves

The Register did a survey at the end of last year in which they were looking for specific data on jobs, salaries and qualifications, quite an interesting read which was released recently, you can see the whole PDF results here.

More than 6000 filled in the survey

Salary

So the average UK salary came in at £35k which is a fair bit up on the quotes figure of £24907 a separate nationwide survey concluded. This survey of The Register readers would target more of specific niche though which would account for the difference.

One of the more interesting questions was who would you prefer to work for:

Who do you want to work for

More than twice as many people would prefer to work for Google as be self employed and work for themselves, there is no question Google promote a friendly and happy work environment but in saying all that Microsoft still manage to be the second most popular employer of choice.