Sunday Quick Hits + Billy Mays Dies

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Billy MaysMy short Bahamas vacation was great, although I would have preferred to go in-season. Alas, with my wife in graduate school, our vacation weeks are fairly limited, so I will take any vacation time I can get! It’s good to be back to work though.

As a direct marketer, it was sad and surprising to hear that pitchman Billy Mays died today at age 50. He and Ron Popeil were two people whom I looked up to when I was at NYU (Direct & Interactive Marketing). They always had cool inventions for sale and were using the direct marketing techniques I was learning. I was always especially fascinated by Popeil and his infomercials. I wonder if yesterday’s airplane runway scare could have caused a problem. I won’t forget Billy’s trademark entry, “Hi, Bill Mays here…”

In the appraisal section of the popular domain forums, I frequently see feedback from members saying a domain name is worth “reg. fee,” short for registration fee. While saying a domain name is worth “reg. fee” is somewhat of an insult, it can also be misleading. I think a worthless domain name isn’t worth reg fee, but is actually worth negative reg fee!

With the year just about half way through, now is a good time to re-contact owners of domain names you’ve tried to acquire this past year. Some people may be falling short on specific revenue goals, and now might be a good chance to get those deals done. As an example, I offered $18k for an ecommerce name a month ago, and the owner asked $50k. I received an email from him a couple of days ago offering it for $30k.

If you are a domain investor, choose the domain names you develop wisely. For most people who are buying websites and paying for development, the upfront costs of development can be expensive, and development isn’t necessarily the magic potion.

Quick update on TobagoVacations.com, a mini site I developed a couple of weeks ago:
6/1 – 6/12 on Fabulous – 122 visits and $2.76 revenue
6/15 – 6/27 developed (Adsense) – 323 visits (18% search engine traffic) and $18.29 revenue
SE Keywords: tobago tour and hotel, tobago vacations… currently on page 1 of Bing for “tobago vacations”

It’s a big day for US Soccer today. This afternoon is the first FIFA Tournament final for the US team, and they are playing Brazil. Should be a fun match.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Elliot,

    You make an excellent point in this article – be very careful about which domains you pick to develop. I’ve found this to be very true myself. When I first started investing in Domain Names I was overwhelmed and trying to develop all my names.

    About a year ago I realized that it really paid-off to develop certain names and others were still of little interest to buyers. Now I try to focus on very specific domains to develop and the others I put-up a quick minisite to get a baseline search engine ranking and then sell them to buyers who are interested in the specific name.

  2. Elliot,
    Congrats on a great start on your Tobago site, it looks terrific. As a newbie starting out I am curious if you are also getting revenue from the various hotels, restaurants you have advertised or is that just useful content that you have provided without compensation.
    thanks
    wayne

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