In September of 2009, I wrote about the development of four websites, using Mike Cohen’s WannaDevelop.com for the project. Almost everything I do with my business is either a test or is in response to a test I’ve done, and I want to share the results of this test. Cohen’s company developed DubrovnikVacations.com, JerusalemVacations.com, EasternCaribbean.com, and ParabolicSkis.com.
Since the first article, I sold EasternCaribbean.com and ParabolicSkis.com, so those traffic results are not included below. The two sites I still own did not receive much (if any) traffic before development. I also only used one Adsense code for the two sites, so the revenue number is combined for both. The results from the last 12 months (October, 2009 – October, 2010) are below, although per Adsense TOS, I am not posting the number of clicks or the exact revenue number.
Total Traffic: 1,467 visitors
Average Monthly Traffic: 122 visitors
Total Traffic: 1,423 visitors
Average Monthly Traffic: 119 visitors
Approximate Total Revenue (can’t disclose exact # due to Adsense TOS): $70 – $90
As you saw from the initial article, the cost was $99 per 5-page mini site, and I did not add additional content . I also didn’t do any testing of Adsense placement, which would have been smart had this been a bigger or more important test for better domain names. The total revenue also includes a couple months with EasternCaribbean.com, which ParabolicSkis.com was never monetized.
All in all, I think the traffic numbers are pretty decent considering that traffic was non-existent at the start. Could I have done more with these two domain names? Of course, but they would have been at the bottom of my development list and probably would have earned nothing. I could also convert these into more comprehensive sites, but I will probably wait for a buyer to come around.
Did I yield a good return on this $200 investment (not considering the price of the names)? I think I had a decent first year return since I didn’t spend money promoting the sites, although the revenue has not yet paid for the development. The % return is strong compared to the stock market, but of course stock investments are liquid where you can get your initial investment back and I don’t know if i could get my investment back.
Later on I will post some advice about mini site development that I’ve learned over the past year. I’ve tested several different providers and done some on my own, so I think I may be able to offer some insight.