Insane Advertisers still don’t get it

This relates to quite an old post, basically I owned a domain which I caught for reg fee/£5.  As soon as a large company started a TV advertising campaign their url was not clearly labelled and I started getting type in confused type in traffic (around 100 per day), it was noticed early and after speaking to them they agreed to pay £2 per sign up if I redirected their traffic back to them. The TV advert lasted about 4 weeks and made £814.

Got an email from them late last year to say they were running the TV advert again in January and would offer the same £2/signup deal, this time the domain earned just over £1k.  Yet through all this they were not interested in buying the domain for £3000-£4000, I still don’t understand their logic really, had an offer through Sedo@ $5000 so decided to sell it as there may/may not be TV adverts in the future and with the £1k just earned it seemed a good time to cash out of that domain name. I’m happy enough but absolutely baffled that they didn’t have the budget to get involved in the domain auction when informed {sigh}

Geo’s Update

Finally coming out of hibernation I expect things for the geo sites to start picking up this and next month.

Last summer I secured a whole bunch of domains that were geo located around each other, some of which are listed on and include the likes of Ayr, Arran and Largs

So with a fairly decent set of towns the plan was and still is to create a physical local guide to Ayr which is the largest of the towns, time has dictated that it will be next year before I launch it however I have the cover designed and database worked on with 600 local businesses and around 100 accommodation entries, a licensed map, local places of interest info and calendar. So the physical guide will get worked on and completed late this year when everything else is quieter, it’s more work to put together than I thought it would be, the guide will be available from the local train station and bus station who agreed to display them as long as they are free, the plan is to sell the advertising space on it to fund it all and work closely with the website, I’ve seen it done to great effect elsewhere.Continue Reading

Moving from country code domain to .com

Many moons ago my tattoo site used to get 30,000+ visitors per day, like many of us building sites in 2002 a hyphen was recommended to separate the words in the domain name so Google could see the keywords, I opted for which looks spammy but ranked well and was a good site, around Sept 2008 Google started pushing the geo location thing and ever since then having the site on the domain has been an issue, before the site ranked nicely in but in the last few years the site didn’t feature in but would dominate All makes sense now and if I’d have originally built it on the .com the issue would never have come up but hindsight is a great thing.Continue Reading

Generate revenue from your contact page

justanswerIf you run a blog or information site you may be interested in the Just Answer ( affiliate program, having recently purchased the last thing I really wanted were questions emailed to me about gardening that I have neither the knowledge or inclination to deal with so one possible idea is to use the JustAnswer affiliate program.

I was already using this on on few pet sites and it generated the odd sale here and there but putting it on the contact page on USA Gardener appears to be bringing in a sale or two a day just now, nothing massive but convenient and functional.

Ideal if you run an information site and could offer an extra income source as well as take care of particular visitor questions without getting your hands dirty, I’m making sales of around $10-$16 and from that get $1-$3 per sale.

Happy New Year!

Hello! Been a while eh.. 2010 seems to have just started but were already more than half way through January!
So what’s been happening on the domaining development front?

Domain Leasing: After the flurry of bids and very nice sale of (which isn’t mine) I suddenly had a good bit of interest in my livingroom & diningroom furniture domains. Weird how that goes, no interest for 12 months and then suddenly 3 different five figure offers, happy to say I leased both mine out for £100 per month each so a nice little gain in the leasing income. The 2 domains were not ranking or developed, both have buy options written in.

Geo’s: I had initially planned to work through the winter adding advertisers to sites like but it became pretty obvious once the businesses shut down it’s going against the grain trying to get them to spend on next season so I held off, I did initially get some B&B’s on board and some have naturally emailed and signed up as the site ranks top for the town, so that one established site is earning £1350 per year in listing fee’s and would make around £2k per year in adsense based on present numbers, my other geo sites although small in traffic levels are getting really nice clicks on Adsense from 50p to £2 per click so even just now in the winter they add up quite nicely. My geo sites will likely earn around £10,000-£15,000 passively for me in 2010 but if I can get motivated that could easily be doubled year on year.Continue Reading

Chasing my own tail

Apologies for the lack of posts, but when there isn’t much new happening there isn’t much to write about so even with this post I am just going to surmise what I’m doing & thinking but there is nothing new.

Think Visibility was a good break, many thanks to Al for the ticket, good to meet some new & old faces - sorry if I wasn’t overly enthusiastic if I met you on Saturday as Al did keep me out till 6am on the first night 🙂 Some good talks and I certainly took away a few ideas. What was interesting was listening to the types of sites other people run, amazing diversity in every room & bar.

Domain Leasing: Current income is around £1300 per month from this, the only way for me to really ramp this up is to get a larger inventory but I don’t want a pile of crap so I think it’s a slow burner with the odd addition and still something I’d like to build on. Certainly a nice option to offer someone who can’t afford to outright buy a prime generic.

Geo’s: My collection of geo’s has grown a little and this is where I have invested money & time this year, a few more domains and some new sites on them every few months. with only a 1500 population was an existing site already ranking at the top, I have contacted B&B’s & hotels offering a paid listing/advertising, it’s a port and popular area for tourism and breaks away. It now has a yearly income of £1100 from listings and £2k from adsense - the site was bought for £4500 a few months ago. is the main site in the group as it’s the largest of the small towns around the 50k population mark, it was just a blank domain but has now been built out and ranks in the top 5, happy with it’s progress.

What’s pretty apparent to me now is that with it being off-season the B&B’s are closed down and they have next to no interest in spending money on advertising right now, I think a lot of the geo sites will come into their own next year from February onwards especially if they are visible near the top of Google so that’s really the aim, get the group of domains, build them and get them indexed and get ready for early 2010 when businesses will be spending on advertising.

Other stuff: I have bought a few smaller sites this year, some for myself, some in partnership with a friend, still looking through lists of traffic sites looking for neglected gems of which I am sure there are plenty out there. Every now and again I can spend a day doing detective work for it to end up nowhere chasing my own tail but that’s the thrill of the chase, one such expedition I’ll detail to show how time can pass!

Last week I was doing some product keyword research, check the keyword and found a site at no.1 in Google with a single holding page saying they were no longer taking orders, checked the html and no tracking code or analytics so my gut says they may not realise they own a site getting hundreds of visitors per day.

The domain was a , no address in the whois, domain name as registrant. shows their old address & phone number in a contact page which is handy, a bit more digging shows there is a physical shop there with the same phone number but today it’s selling something completely different so I had hoped/presumed a change of direction. I contacted the shop owner but she nothing to do with the old shop or domain I am after. She did manage to give me a name of the old trading company which I had not heard of that used to trade from the shop.

Researching this trading name took me to other sites in the same kind of genre which were still live and finding their contact details I asked if they still owned the domain I was chasing and wanted.

Nope, but he used to, he had sold the site & domain in 2008 but did have the buyers name and mobile phone number which he was happy to pass on to me.

I contacted the buyer who had since resigned as director of the company who bought the domain I am after, but gave me the name of the limited company that he had setup. So I paid £4 at companies house for all the details on this limited company and could see no trading has been done or filed but did get the home address of the existing director of the limited company who owns the domain. I can’t see any trace of this guy online (handy weird surname) so have sent him a snail mail to ask if he would sell the domain.

Will any of this come off? who knows, but it can be fun and when these things do work out you can win big, an excellent tip from Edwin is to take a high ranking site and put it in the Adwords Tool under website content to generate a list of popular keywords to start your research from.

Advertisers coming to me

So far so good with my geo exploits, quick summary; to date for me it’s about building foundations. Initially I chose a target location (West of Scotland) and then went to work trying to acquire local towns, I have worked with a fairly realistic budget spending around £1000 on good sized towns around 10,000 to 20,000 population which I believe to be sounds investments and of good value. I wouldn’t pay that for locations that didn’t have the tourism angle though.

Occasionally I managed to pick up something I felt under priced and occasionally I have had to pay more than I would have liked. When targeting towns & villages my preference so far has been to go for the first, usually with no existing site in the case of Ayr & Arran. If that was a no go I have looked at the which happened for Kilmarnock. If that was a no go then I google the town and looked at the top 10 to see if there was something suitable & established to buy which was the case for Kilwinning (.org) And in some cases so far I have not been able to get anything.Continue Reading

AWIN Shop Window update

Some time ago I did a post about putting the shop window software on a domain for affiliate sales, I pretty much have forgotten about the site but was asked for an update on the script and how it was doing.


Category: Lighting

Current traffic: 100-250 visitors per day

Improvements made, after installing the software I had someone make the url’s more seo friendly and created my own categories using the search function along with some unique text/description at the top for some of the categories.

I also bought a template from templatemonster I think for a basic design to make the front of the site look better and less like an aff site.

Over the last month the site made the following sales;

All-up-and-on: 407 clicks, generating 7 sales, £644.65 in sales
Haysom lighting:  265 clicks, 2 sales,  £228.94 in sales
DIY Tools: 60 clicks, 2 sales, £276.47 in sales
Screwfix: 59 clicks, 3 sales, £225.51 in sales 47 clicks, 3 sales, £34.57 in sales
Rapid electronics: 31 clicks, 1 sale, £6.28 in sales
Expert Verdict: 21 clicks, 1 sale, £1.50 in sales

So around 890 clicks through to a merchant from the site generating 19 sales of just over £1400. Not exactly massive or overly impressive but again it’s a zero maintenance site, I don’t think it’s worth pumping out sites like this though, not real value so could disappear overnight unless you really worked on it to build new content & information in the way of reviews or ran alongside a blog.

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

My jaunt into Geo’s

Morning folks! Over the last 4 weeks I have pretty much being having fun developing a little geo area in the West of Scotland so wanted to share my observations.

Initially I bought Arran, Ayr and Largs - I then remembered I own so decided to use that as the umbrella domain to link to them all from. I also picked up a few others all beside each other and all small but touristy kind of places on the coastline to make a little set of 7.

Minisites: I have seen a lot written and said about minisites which strikes me as sweeping statements, if you look at that’s a minisite. Minisites are evolving, Largs cost me under £200 and for that I get a theme on WordPress, research is done and around 7 to 10 articles are created without my input. It’s then all put together with work on descriptions, tags and keywords, after which I added some feeds for extra pages, but it pretty much ticks all the minisite boxes.

To say minisites are not worthwhile, useless or will not give you a return on your investment is like saying “websites” are not worthwhile. Websites like minisites come in a variety of flavours and if done well can be very worthwhile, but they can be crap and a waste of virtual space if done poorly.

I am negotiation for an established but tiny tourist location in Scotland with a population of 1500! the owner has had the domain/site for 12 years, it makes £3000 per year. He hasn’t updated it in years but wants it to go to a good home, I offered £2700 and was rejected no surprise, he wants £5500 which is a fair price, after showing him & he has agreed to sell the site to me below his £5500 valuation as he wants it to go to a good home and likes what I am doing. So these new minisites have value that other’s can see.

Feeds: I know pulling in feeds doesn’t add traffic/real content but from a user experience it makes the site more appealing and complete, adding twitter, pictures, video, jobs, weather, property, events and games gives a better user experience from the off. I have tested this on people who work offline and have had good feedback. I am however looking down the line a bit to find a local estate agent to offer their feed exclusively for a fee.

Links: One thing I have noticed is asking for links for the generic place name seems very easy with positive replies. I even emailed the local council and asked for a link on their which was up and live within 30 minutes. Emailing others sites who do info on the places often gets a quick “Hi Scott, that’s been done now” which is very different from dealing with product related sites, the exact match generic domain maybe helps or maybe geo sites are much nicer to work in when it comes to sharing links.

Some local hotels & resorts have link & info pages, I decided to make sure when asking for a link from them I email the PR & Marketing person, not the webmaster. Not only did I get a link from them I also got a typical reponse from the marketing person asking about the site, “is it new and how much for a homepage advert?”, much better than me asking them to advertise.

Twitter: I created a twitter account and followed quite a few people who mentioned the areas, in some cases people mention they are about to or have just been to the town. This seems a good opportunity to ask for user submitted content and I have a couple of people who have agreed to write reviews based on me contacting and posting on Twitter.

I have to say I am enjoying these sites, some are in development or live but under month old, they are starting to bring in around 50 visitors per day each. All in all a good excercise and a good set of info minisites that I feel have good potential to generate income. If someone can make £3k a year from a population of 1500 then the towns with 10k or 40k I also have should offer opportunity once established to earn their keep.