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I Love Nola

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Just returned from my trip to New Orleans. While I think three days is long enough to be down there (especially the French Quarter), I had a great time. Dinner last night at Arnaud’s was amazing, and it was fantastic being down there with great friends and my Dad.
I need a bit more time to recover from the Hurricanes, bourbon, tequila, Purple Haze and other unmentionables, but I will be back to normal tomorrow. I even wrote a blog post on the flight, so it will be easier to get back to the groove.
Thanks to everyone who wrote emails and posted comments. See you tomorrow!

SHOW ME YOUR……. Domains!

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I won’t be blogging, moderating comments, or responding to emails for the next few days, as I am headed down to New Orleans for my bachelor party. I will be back on Sunday night, and I should be back to normal by Monday.
In the meantime, feel free to use the links on the right hand side while I am out of town.

Coffee.org Sold for $100,000

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According to an article I just read on Reve News, it looks like Coffee.org was recently acquired for $100,000 by Bill McClure, former Chairman of Traffic Strategies. McClure intends to build a coffee distribution website, and Coffee.org is certainly a great domain name to do that.
I’ve said in the past, there is a certain trust factor with the .org extension. While this may slightly work against McClure with a commercial enterprise, it would be easy to overcome if he also makes it a valuable informational resource all about coffee.
According to a quote from McClure in the Reve News post,

“Coffee is the second largest traded commodity, next to oil and has grown from $8 billion in sales in 2001 to over $ 13 billion today.” says McClure. “Studies show that throughout the world, people consume more than 330 million cups of coffee each and every day. This makes black coffee the most popular drink after water and even beats tea as people’s favorite drink.”

Thanks to Brad for sending the link to me!

Mining the Long Tail

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I am in the process of developing a debt-related mini-site. I am writing the articles for it and would like some keyword research related to debt so I can mine the long tail and dominate the long (but high paying) keywords. I want to target some low hanging fruit keywords that others may not notice. The competition will be less, and my site will hopefully rank higher.
Can anyone recommend a place to get a large list of keywords for a good price?

My "Relentless Attacks" on Unique Extensions

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I was looking in my trackbacks today and saw a trackback from a blog to my post “.Mobi Meltdown” where I linked to another blogger with whom I agreed about .mobi names at the TRAFFIC auction. I was going to respond in the comment section of that person’s blog, but I ended up writing quite a bit and figured I would give my thoughts more exposure rather than burying them at the bottom of someone else’s blog.
From DomainerDeveloper.com:

“I must reiterate that I find it disenchanting and absolutely remarkable how so many credible, domain industry veteran investors appear to still be missing the mark when it comes to understanding these fascinating domain extensions. Instead of exploring the many possibilities and communities that are building up around these unique extensions, they continue their relentless attacks.”

First off, I disagree that I have been a source of “relentless attacks.” Before last week when I asked “Is There Money in .Mobi Development,” (which only received one affirmative response with hundreds of page views) the last time I even mentioned anything about .mobi was a February 7th post where I was commenting on someone else’s post about the trouble facing .mobi in getting consumers to recognize and adopt the extension. Prior to that, my last mention was way back in December – a lifetime in this business. If this is considered relentless, that’s pretty weak.
Aside from this inaccuracy, I must ask one important question. Why would I care about .mobi or .any other extension when I can do the same shit with my .com names? If I believe many mobile users are navigating to my websites, I can make sure the mobile browser is detected to give the visitor an optimal experience. Whether I own the .mobi or not, my websites can be mobile-ready, just like thousands of other large companies who may not have even heard of .mobi (or own their .mobi names for protective purposes).
I don’t have the time or bandwidth to develop more than a few domain names at a time. Why would I want to mess around with an unproven extension when I can stick to .com? I am sure there are plenty of people who have plenty of time to experiment and try to earn a return on their investment, but I don’t have the time or the desire to become a .mobi missionary.
At this moment, I don’t envy people who paid mid 5 figures recently for .mobi names to see the 13 “premium” names sell for no more than $18k at last week’s TRAFFIC auction. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, people like Rick Schwartz can afford to take a $200,000 gamble on a .mobi or .whatever domain name. If he hits paydirt in 5 years, people will still probably be jerkoffs to him, but it is his prerogative. I don’t see a very active market for .eu domain names, and I am not familiar with too many that are developed, although there were many people who spent thousands of dollars on those names.
When I buy a domain name for development, I make sure the name is as liquid as possible in the event things don’t work out. If I wanted to sell Lowell.com, Burbank.com (currently under development), WeddingEntertainment.com or a few other names I own, I could make a profit because I bought them for fair prices. If I paid $25k for a non-“premium” .mobi name, I wouldn’t be happy at this moment knowing what these recent “premium” names did. That was the point of my last post.
Sure, maybe 5 years from now some alternate extension domain owners will hit paydirt. IMO, it would have been smarter to invest in more liquid domains in the .com extension either for development or to flip. Are condo investors in Vegas or Miami happy when they see much lower comps on similar condos that they own? Are they willing to wait out the market? Some are, but many are just trying to not lose their shirts when they sell rather than waiting out the market.
Sure, maybe I am “missing the mark,” but I think we are aiming for different things.

Guest Post: Keepin It Real & Keeping The Money Coming In

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The following post is courtesy of a friend and well-known, but private domain investor. He gives some strategic advice which he adheres to, and it makes him quite a bit of money. When I first started out in the domain industry, my strategy was to sell as many names as possible for thin profit margins. It takes a lot of $30 domain sales to make good money. My friend has generated PPC revenue (correction from earlier) for a few months, and then sold his names for a revenue multiple.

“This past week I sold a total of 9 minimal income domains for $2,450. I paid a total of $61.85 for them (all were reg fee). In the year I had them they made about $800 in ppc income. So my total return on a $62 investment was $3,250 with a net profit of $3,188. That works out to a 5,142% ROI. Sure I could have held them instead of selling like others try and wait till they find a 10x buyer, but odds are I’d be waiting a much longer time and would have to invest more of my time in continued marketing which has a cost factor to it and if you do that you don’t keep cash flow coming in. You want your resell domain properties to flip fast. Time is money. There’s nothing wrong with pricing to sell at 2x or 3x. It works. It moves inventory quickly. It’s the way to keep constant high profit cash flow coming out of your portfolio with enormous ROI’s.
The strategy then is to not be greedy if you want to make money in the domain biz. Make a profit, but make it possible for the next buyer to make a profit too. Where else can you make a 5,000% ROI??? I know of no investment that can do that kind of number on a reliable continuous basis week after week, but domains can if you keep your prices reasonable to sell quick. That’s the secret!”

While I plan to keep the domain names I build into mini-sites, I think my friend has a smart strategy to produce a growing revenue stream. The buyers of his names/sites will benefit from his legwork – it’s a win/win for everyone.

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