Twitter, a social way to earn your pay

Nobody can say I was early to the twitter party, then again I was very late to the domain one and that never stopped me looking at things and playing catchup in my own way. I reluctantly joined twitter very late and am not that social tbh, I wouldn’t follow me, put it that way.

Over the last 24 months one thing has become crystal clear though, the public and businesses in general have really adopted it as a way to interact and keep up to date, furthermore I have noticed quote a few good twitter accounts ranking organically in search engines, all this means one thing to me = money, I’m not sure I’m entirely up to speed on how this is all going to translate to cash but it will.Continue Reading

Link building

Found a company doing a novel new trick, well new to me anyway.

They scanned my authority website for dead links
Then put up some content relative to my dead outbound links on their own site
Then email and ask if they can quote my site with link back to me (naturally I agree)
When I confirm it’s ok they tell me about the dead link saying they know how hard it is to run large important sites and monitor everything and offer their (new) page as an alternative link.

I can see that working for them.

The case for Geographical development

My thoughts on the advantages that working on a geographical domain has over starting a product based or aff website.

1. You don’t need the same traffic numbers, if trying to appeal to local B&B’s/Guesthouses & businesses for advertising you don’t need to be aiming for 10,000 visitors per day, getting 100-300 visitors per day can suffice. That makes the return on investment and time spent much quicker and more appealing. From the few sites I have up that are around a month or so old they all get around 50 visitors per day just based on the few articles each site has. Almost time to start looking for advertising, that’s not the way it usually works.Continue Reading

2 more domains leased

For those of you keeping up with my domain leasing attempts I have 2 more leased out in the last couple of weeks, both @ £50 per month, one on a 2 year lease, the other on a 3 year lease, one domain was caught for £5 the other cost me £700. That takes the total to 5 domains leased out @ a total of £775 coming in per month.

Overall thoughts on buying domains to lease recently are pretty much unchanged:

1. Make sure the domain encompasses a whole or substantial part of a business, it has to be attractive to an end user to build a second store front on, don’t try to get into too small a niche.

2. Make sure the niche you choose has a lot of players or potential end users, your going to need a big audience to find the right person with vision, I sent out around 30 emails last week and in one reply where I was asking for £75 per month the reply stated he would buy it for £75! When speaking on the phone to another potential end user he was shocked the domain I was trying to lease cost me over £1000, those are hurdles that still need to be tackled.

3. Again if there is a fee paid for the domain which is usually the case with good domains I try and get that back or most of it back within 12 months and therefore look to lease out for 2 or 3 years.

4. The domain needs to be ranked for it’s name, of the 5 leased out, only one was not ranking top 10 for it’s name, it’s that added value that helps make a deal just now.

That’s probably all the progress I’ll make with that side of my business this year, next year I need to crank it up and I have a lot in the pot that I have been working on all year quietly so I really want to aim to take it above £1k a month and towards £2k a month. it’s certainly not get rich quick but once the time & effort is invested if I have 10-20 valuable domains leased out in the future making an income of 4 figures a month it would make that side of my business pretty valuable considering the investment would have paid itself back within 12 months, that business would be valued on a multiple of it’s income and the fact that the capital assets appreciate in value each year. It may be an option to sell the busines as a going concern one day or just live of the income.

Recap/timeline on the last year for domain leasing.

  • It was August last year I made my first post where I considered the idea: Become an internet landlord
  • 2 months later in October I had my first domain leased out
  • In January 2008 I put in my to do list for the year “I would like to progress with leasing a bit more so would look to have at least 2 domains or sites leased out on long leases to expand on what I have started there and prove to myself it can grow.” 
  • I knew ranking and buidling some value into the domains would take time and hamper progress in 2008 so it was nice in May to lease out my second domain.
  • After leasing out the second one it really opened my eyes to the added value this gives a good domain.
  • It would be November before my 3rd, 4th & 5th lease would come, no surprise, I expected a year of buying and working on them before I could get down to realising them as assets.

All in all from a standing start around a year ago to get to £775 per month is fair enough, the first year is certainly the hardest and next year should offer more opportunities with more money being spent advertising online. Almost all my domain buying has been done in the last 12 months – it’s been a big shift for me but I think the fact that I have detailed a great deal of it on this blog shows it’s certainly not too late for anyone, there is opportunity if you have motivation.

Finding unused domains #tip

Searching for unused domains can bring some good finds and rewards, sometimes the domains are actually quite nice and generic, sometimes they have lots of age and old links and sometimes they have traffic, in the past I have found a domain bought it and bought the previous content and put sites back together.

When looking for unused domains you can search for standard template and placeholder text in the search engines, so your searching for things like:

“Under Construction. The site you are trying to view does not currently have a default page.”
“Directory Listing Denied”
“The requested object does exist on this server”
“Why is this page displayed?”
“domain login”
“does not exist”
“cannot be found”

You can get inventive and creative when trying to narrow down domains that are not properly parked or in use, for example if a domain name owner has name servers down for sedo or some registrars but don’t park the domain properly you get their standard text which shows a possible forgetfulness or possibly that the domain is neglected or forgotten about.

You can also find old websites that have stopped working through neglect using searches for typical ASP and PHP errors which can turn up some real gems!

Economy in tatters, opportunity matters.

In the current economic climate I think it’s fair to say a lot of people are tightening their belts, food and fuel prices are forever breaking new records and the banks & finance are suffering as much as they have been for decades.

Mining

It is therefor the perfect time to go on the offensive, you will not go a week without seeing several rumours of takeover bids for weak and vulnerable companies and we do have billion or million dollar budgets the same opportunities still exist for those that are proactive on a smaller scale.

Sellers of websites are more open to negotiation, in fact I am finding cold call emails are being met more favourably as money can be tight it’s a great time to build up contact with a site you wish to purchase, online business venture are being closed down every day. Businesses that could be 1-10 years old, have old backlinks and good rankings but the business model has run into difficulty.

You can pay to get lists of companies in administration, these companies more than often have domain names, those domains are not expiring and could have traffic, rankings & value, some companies trade under their name but also hold category killer generic domains, you can use tools such as DomainTools to find other domains a company in administration has.

Administrators try and sell the business as quickly as possible when they are taken in however in many cases if a buyer is not found their job is to get as much money as possible for the creditors and that’s a golden opportunity to contact the administrator and offer money for a domain name, you do that enough times and you will find a diamond in the rough.

Exit strategy – prepare well in advance

Exit strategyAfter a few years of working online I think it is only prudent to have an exit strategy, well it is for me seeing as I want to retire early, or at least have the option to retire when I wish instead of when I have to.

So far I have managed to make money online for which I am grateful and working from home is a blast especially with the summer coming up, can’t complain at all. I have managed to think outside the box and offer products and services and pretty much along the way I have had a basic strategy or plan but nothing that would be classed as a business plan, I think many of us have floated along trying to make the best of what we can with limited means and knowledge, after all how can you have experience of something that has just been invented!

For the most part my plan if it could be called one was along the lines of

1/ Get good rankings
2/ Therefore get lots of traffic
3/ Monetise that traffic through various income streams
4/ Then constantly worry about stability and losing traffic and income!

Continue Reading

Getting in touch with the right people

CEOIt can be unproductive and often boring sending out email after email to try and lease out some of my sites, so many companies seem to be making contacting them by email nigh on impossible! Spam has played it’s part in that I am sure.

Still, I often get the feeling my emails never get in front of the right people, customer services would likely be the wrong people who could just as easily dismiss my email as marketing spam so I have been trying to reach for the top and although nothing concrete as yet, it seems to be paying off.

I have emailed companies like overstock.com in the past but no response, this time I googled for the CEO’s name of the company I was contacting, which is usually easy enough to find out from press releases etc, I would then send 3 emails and check for them bouncing in the form of:

johnsmith@company.com
j.smith@company.com
jsmith@company.com

These seem to be the most frequent used formats used and it’s been very successful with 2 emails usually bouncing and one getting to the right person, so instead of responses like this from customer services;

We’re always looking at ways to make xxxxxxxx.com even better and your comments are a big help to us. I’ll make sure to share them with the right team.

Thanks for getting in touch with us. I hope you’ll visit us again soon.

Best regards,

I have been getting responses like this from the CEO:

Hi Scott,
 
Thanks. xxxxx and xxxxxx will be in touch.
 
Regards
xxxxxxxxx

(Names have been xxxxx’d out)

This is much more encouraging, I would also guess that my email being passed down the way from the CEO to someone in charge of their marketing would be looked at closer than an email going through customer services and being sent upwards. I have now spoken to 3 companies regarding a lease this week which at the very least makes me feel I’m making some headway and being a bit more productive :)

Business ideas connecting people and domains

ConnectI love website ideas that let users create content and interact with each other, all the while they create free content and improve your site in a fashion that lets you stay hands off. Starting a site like this is slow and painful but once they get natural momentum they can really take off, you don’t even have to have an in depth knowledge of the subject.

That’s the thing, I don’t have any tattoos, I only speak one language and I can’t draw but I have 2500 tattoo designs, thousands of user submitted images and do online sales of translations in many languages. You can make plenty from utilising other people’s talents and connecting people togetherContinue Reading

Affiliate Opportunity for someone in the UK

TeamI was speaking to an old friend this morning who has had nothing but trouble with his hosting/webmaster and was asking for advice as he is treading water, at present he pays a monthly fee to cover small website changes and the hosting but anytime he needs something done it is never carried out.

So a possible opportunity lies there for anyone in the UK reading this that wanted to run his sites and work on them a bit SEO wise.

Steve does all sorts of custom gifts, mugs, keyrings, clocks, aprons, coasters, mousemats and many more with text/images as per the customers wishes, always done well with clubs and national events. Two main sites, one for retail and one for the trade.Continue Reading