A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about what I envision my perfect domain portfolio to look like in 5 years. I think about this post on occasion, and I think a year later is a good time to review it again and see how I am doing and if anything has changed over the last year.
The first goal was that “I will have 2 fully developed city .com geographic domain names that are benefiting each community and the advertisers.” I am on target with this, owning Burbank.com, Lowell.com, and Newburyport.com, a smaller city in Massachusetts. It seems that traffic increases each month, communication with organizations and businesses increase, and the interest in the sites is growing. I still haven’t spent a lot of time working with advertisers, but the sites are making money and the groundwork is being laid.
The second goal was that “I will have 2 developed product/service based websites.” I was referring more towards a model like Warren has with Bobbleheads.com and I don’t have one yet – although I see that being an aspect of Torah.com. There are several names that are available to buy that are just outside of my price range right now, but things can change over time. Since I am so busy on other projects, it’s probably better to keep my cash liquid rather than locked up in a domain name I want to develop – as the necessity to sell would impact the business model.
Goal number three was to “have 15-20 domain names of friends and family.” I am well on my way with this one, as I own the domain names of friends and family who I know are going to get more successful as time passes and will neeed their domain name down the road. One of my friends will probably follow his dad into politics, and I will be very happy to give him his domain name any time he wants it. It feels good to be able to secure a friends’ domain name when I know they will need them, but they don’t realize it yet.
The final goal was to “own 10-20 speculative .com domain names.” At this point, I am still way above this number, and I don’t see it shrinking any time soon.
So… how have changes during the last year changed my perfect portfolio plans?
1) I have a number of smallish but growing mini-sites. These require little upkeep but continue to make money. They might not make a lot of money, but they are all on target to make a good amount over registration fee, so they pay for themselves and more. I would have added that I’d like to have a number of great mini-sites contributing to the bottom line.
2) I am not generating enough advertising revenue from my developed websites, so I can’t decrease the amount of domain sales I do. Consequently, I still own a lot of names that I am selling to make money. With an uptick in blog advertising revenue I am a little bit less dependent on domain sales.
3) I didn’t even mention anything about my blog in my initial post. A year ago, I never looked at my blog as a business. When I changed the design and offered more/better advertising space, I was overwhelmed with the response. As much as I enjoy blogging, last year, there were a few times where I felt the need to stop blogging because it was taking up way too much time and not earning very much money. As a result of the re-design, I am now making enough money to justify the time I put into the blog.
4) The economy has changed pretty dramatically since April of 2008, and I am spending more money on building a business than on domain investments.