Bit of an update

I know the blog’s been neglected, not a great deal happening recently on my end. A few good deals worth low to mid 5 figures have fallen through for various reasons over the last few months, it’s clear a lot of companies and individuals have cash flow problems and for some that may get worse.

From what I can see there will not be a great many high value deals done this year in the domaining world and the low/reseller market has dried up a great deal, thankfully that doesn’t really affect me as I have for the most part bought domains for developing and long term investment in.

2 lease deals have fallen through due to the companies actually shelving plans to open new websites they had been developing, again another sign of tightening their belts and reducing risk but you can’t blame businesses wanting to reduce their costs & exposure.

So with all that in mind I will be raising capital and buying up some existing websites, they offer the best return. Getting a 33% yield is no mean feat in any business, while there is risk, there is no better way to spend time & money than researching and buying older sites even if they are already monetised. There are often little changes you can make to turn a website bought on 3 years income pay itself back in 2 years. If you do feel anything over 12-24 months net income is too generous for zero maintenance websites that are established with good stable stats then get in touch because I am buying 🙂

One site has been bought for the best part of 20k, another for £5750 agreed to be purchased within the next 2 weeks which I am quite excited about. Moving on from there I spoke to my bank this morning and they are happy to give me £50k based on my home equity with no references all sorted and agreed in principal within literally a 10 minute phone call so it’s not all doom and gloom, it can take 2 to 4 weeks to arrange but pleasantly suprised by the efficiency of C&G, borrowing against my home equity is a cheap way to raise funds for me to acquire faster than I can naturally, I already have another website or 2 in my sights with rough numbers done on them which again would likely be looking at paying 3 years income to buy them, as they are not start-ups it means I won’t share the url’s here I am afraid.

That’s the basic strategy for me, there will be deals this year so having funds ready to buy is what I am sorting out. With that in mind I plan to have a larger variety of established sites in the next couple of years, along with the domain leasing and a good potfolio of valuable generics which will spread my risk & potential, it’s not the time to have all your eggs in one basket. For info generally speaking any sites I would purchase would not be for sale, more a case of me contacting website owners out of the blue, which brings it’s own problems and challenges and of course rewards but you can get a better quality of site by going looking for it rather than waiting for them to be listed for sale.

Remember, old leads are worth chasing up this year, people who refused offers for domains and sites in the past may not be so bullish or on the same financial footing today as they were over the last few years so going through any old leads making fresh contact offering hard cash can give you a favourable outcome at a cheaper price.

Think Visibility and Other News

It’s been something of an eventful few weeks on the business front, so I’ll summarise stuff that I currently have going on.

New York Trip
I spent a very long and enjoyable weekend in New York discussing plans for a new business in a totally different niche for me. Domains are registered, artwork and theme are in progress, now waiting on content before official launch. I will do a case study on this in the near future.

Think Visibility
Last weekend I spoke at Think Visibilty, an absolutely amazing mini conference organised by The Hodge. Tickets cost £30 and I think every attendee would agree that was awesome value for money. I won’t do a full review here as many people have beaten me to it, check out posts by:

The next Think Visibility conference is already taking shape and a venue is booked in Leeds on September 12th 2009, so make a note in your diary as you don’t want to miss it (I will announce when tickets are available (hopefully with an affiliate link 🙂 )).

Congrats again Dom you did a sublime job organising your first conference.

Added Another Blog to the Portfolio
I was approached by an old friend to see if I wanted to buy one of his blogs, after a bit of bartering and a price I could not say no to, I am now the proud owner of Due to an NDA I cannot go into exact details but it gets between 5K and 10K visitors per day and is a great addition to my tech network.

Earnings Disclosure
I’ve been asked by a number of people to post another earnings breakdown report. Generally I don’t mind sharing this sort of info but things that are going on in my life at the moment I’d be foolish to document my earnings. Suffice to say I’m doing okay and re-investing heavily into other sites and ventures. I am also enjoying the continual slide of sterling against the dollar (though I did suffer when in NYC). I am now heading to the bank to pay in a backlog of US$ checks, including Christmas commissions 🙂 .

Have a great week everybody!

Paying up to 3 years income for UK based sites

If your looking to sell your website and it is primarily UK based with good history/stats then I may be able to pay up to 36 x monthly net income. Cash waiting for the right sites. Open to all topics, preferably 40% + UK based traffic. Low maintenance an advantage. Email scott atsign

Bit of coding work needed

I could do with a bit of coding work, if someone has some time please mail me with a price if you can do it straight away.

Basically I have a terms & conditions in Word that I need to make available online to someone who has to add their name, email adrdess, date and check a tick box to say they agree to the terms & conditions at the bottom, upon clicking submit both they and I get a copy by email to confirm the agreement.

Should be easy I guess, the form/terms will change so I need to be able to paste the text or upload the main part of it each time for each new client.

Edit: Sorted now thanks 🙂

Why Twitter (and a way to get new followers)

I’ve been actively using Twitter for the best part of 6 months. I think, like most people, I didn’t really see the reason of it at first. What’s the point of sending “tweets” of up to 140 characters saying what you’re doing?

However I’ve become a total convert and now use it on a daily basis to keep in touch friends, find out what they’re doing, etc. I meet a fair people at conferences and I’m normally a nightmare at keeping in touch with people (do you email old friends, like err ever), especially when people are in different time zones.

This year I expect Twitter to go totally main stream, think how texting is the standard way for teenagers to keep intouch, Twitter is that and more. It’s already being mentioned in mainstream media and I expect will continue snowballing in popularity through the year.

One of the important elements with Twitter is connecting both with existing friends and like minded people, so I want to copy borrow an idea from Duct Tape Marketing.

Add your comment to this post and keeping in the spirit of twitter tell us about you or your business in 140 characters or so and give people a reason to also click on your twitter ID to follow you. (Make sure you add your twitter ID in the appropriate comment form box.

You can follow Scott at MrScottJones myself at AlCarlton. If you’re new to Twitter and follow us make sure you send us a message so that we can follow you back. Have fun!

Inspirational Failures

I speak to a lot of Internet marketers and entrepreneurs and one thing that comes out time and time again is the number of failures. I’ll happily admitting having more failed businesses than I do successful ones. I own more websites that make less than $1 a day than sites that earn over $100. I have more failed relationships than happy ones. Most people do.

The GREAT thing about failed ventures is what you learn along the way and can take into your next more successful ventures. So if you’re struggling at the moment, appreciate the education.

I watched this video the other day and found it REALLY humbling, if you’re struggling to move on with something check it out.

As always your comments and thoughts are appreciated.

25 Things

I got tagged on Facebook (befriend here) with 25 things, don’t normally do much on FB but thought this would be fun, so sharing here too as if it gets any SE traffic want it here and not there.

1. I used to run a market stall selling ethnic clothing, jewellery and dope paraphernalia

2. In my younger years I played drums and was into glam rock (even sometimes dressed the part)

3. I get secretly emotional when watching films, actually shed a tear when I watched Seven Pounds.

4. I was totally anti-mobile phone for years, I now carry two.

5. I got fired from my first two jobs and in all honesty should have been fired from my last (and final) job.

6. I used to have zero financial intelligence and racked up a serious amount of credit card debt. It got to the point where my parents were advised to disown me if they wanted to get a loan.

7. My daughter Alicia was born whilst I was at University and I spent my final year looking after her, studying from home and creating my first website (which is still live and earning $1 a day now).

8. I am a loyal friend and will do anything to help somebody but when crossed I hold a grudge for an unhealthily long time.

9. I never give vouchers or cash as gifts as think the thought is far more important.

10. My proudest moment of 2008 was inviting a homeless guy called Keith to eat with me and then buying him a room for the night.

11. I support Newcastle United which never fails to cause me pain

12. I want to learn to ski, had one lesson so far and it hurt

13. I read all 3 books of Lord of the Rings in two days.

14. I’ve electrocuted myself twice, both times I survived

15. I dislike sun, pool and beach holidays.

16. I quit smoking about 5 years ago, was on holiday at the time and was embarrassed by parents smoking over their kids, 20-a-day habit kicked.

17. I co-own the most popular budgerigar forum in the world; I know jack shit about budgies.

18. I’m a fan of spicy food though often regret that the next day

19. I own 2 cars and 2 watches, my watches are worth more than my cars

20. I used to play in both a pool and bowling league, my top bowling score is 242 and I’ve cleared from the break on 3 occasions (never in a match mind)

21. I once paid a prostitute to go away and leave me alone (in Ghana)

22. I’ve been arrested twice and cautioned once.

23. I was at the Brazilian Grand Prix, when Lewis Hamiliton lost, decided not to go the next year, duh!

24. I can be brutally honest and am not the most tactful of people.

25. If I am over changed in a shop I will always tell them.

If anybody moans that this post is not about making money then yeah it’s not but this blog is Self Made Minds, we’ve never pertained to be a “Make Money Online” site. If anybody else does one of these let us know and we’ll link up.

Losing and Finding My Motivation

For most people that know me this post is going to come as something of a shock, for a few it won’t. In 2008 I lost my motivation, BIG time.

I’ve been pondering writing this post for about a week, in fact I’ve started it twice and deleted it (once on purpose, once accidently (fuckwit)). So what caused the loss, combination of things really. Moving away from friends, not needing to work and relationship issues which wouldn’t be fair of me to share on a public site. End of the day it was entirely my fault and I’ll take full responsibility for that.

As you’d expect losing motivation has consequences, businesses just ticked over rather than expanding (thank fuck I’m a TOTAL advocate of automation and outsourcing), I drank too much and piled on a shed load of weight, wasted £500 on gym fees and never went once, house is something of a shit hole with odd jobs being neglected for the past year or so and other issues which again wouldn’t be fair sharing publicly.

On the positive side I knew it was happening and knew I needed to do something about it. I attended Elite Retreat which helped and led to me attending Think Tank which helped more. Also did the a4u speaking gig and various other talks and meets. All really helped and I made some great friends in 2008 which I hope and expect will be friends for life.

The final piece in me re-finding my motivation was my recent trip to Vegas. I lost a fair bit in Vegas, cash, naivety, morals, brain and liver cells BUT more importantly I hooked up with some brilliant friends (you know who you are), saw some amazing sights and became really REALLY motivated again.

So what next? Starting to get fit again (lost about a stone since Christmas) business is expanding, just launched the UK version of Coolest Gadgets which is going to be big. Flying to New York at the end of the month to meet up with a fantastic friend and start another business in a totally TOTALLY different niche and have a list ideas that will be acted upon.

Need to thank Scott for being an amazing business partner, friend and posting here when I haven’t been. I’ll be back posting more frequently from now on (won’t post pad but trying a lot of new things here so will have more stuff to share).

Al’s back. Funny thing is last year was my most profitable to date, you’ve just got to love Internet marketing.


Created an account that I intend to use on Twitter for things in my head which probably do not warrant posts by themselves…finally.

Sometimes it Pays to Bite thy Tongue

At times we all get let down and or pissed off by people, whether their friends, work colleagues, family, employees, whoever. However how we handle the problem can make a massive difference to the outcome.

As an example I twice had a similar problem with writers. The first had been writing for me for over a year, she was great at her job until she disappeared on holiday for 2 weeks giving me 30 minutes notice to find cover. As you can imagine I was some what peeved and justifiably so in my opinion. However I handled the situation really badly. When her contract came up for renewal (or she got back from holiday), I simply terminated it and in the process lost both a good writer and friend.

In hindsight, we should have virtually sat down, discussed the problem and agreed what would happen in the future; instead I had a 10 minute hissy fit and that was that.

Next example was also with a writer, this one went off “sick” for 6 weeks, after 4 weeks I saw he was working on another site. I spoke to him on IM knowing he was working for this other site and likely wouldn’t be back, my initial thoughts were to tell him exactly what I thought of him (which would involved words like unprofessional, ungrateful, two faced tosser), however this time I bit my tongue (which did take a lot of doing).

He left my employment for pastures new but we kept on good terms (however if he ever asks for his job back that will be an interesting conversation) and when asked he helps out promoting posts (he’s a prolific twitterer with a following).

The lesson I learnt from this is that the 10 minutes of satisfaction you get from slamming somebody and telling them exactly what you think is nothing compared what you can gain in the future by being civil and biting the tongue. So even if you know you’re in the right and they are in the wrong, take 3 deep breaths and think of what’s best for the future.

Anybody else got good or bad examples when they should of kept their mouth shut?