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.
A member on NP recently came out with a WordPress theme he has named Parked.tv. While it was designed more specifically to show relevant video for .TV domains, it can be used for any topic where one might find videos on Youtube related to that subject. The setup is probably ~20 minutes per site which includes selecting the top video, your analytics code, an Adsense or affiliate block if you choose (I left that block open to designate it for direct ad placement), links to other sites within your network, any descriptive text, a link to your sales page at SEDO, Godaddy, etc. I have already set up about forty over the last week and will order more once I get through my first group of fifty. The theme is still in beta but he is initially charging a $1 setup plus $1 monthly. I suspect at some point he will raise rates but for now… Two weeks ago I had no experience with WordPress but there is no install required – just forward your nameservers and then customize your settings to your tastes. For a few examples which I have set up…
It always amazes me when you post geo related topics such as your burbank posting how low the revenue to traffic ratios appear to be, it seems getting these geo niches to become profitable requires quite a bit of time and content creation, in a world with demand media churning out auto content you need to have a robust plan and budget in place to grow today.
FYI on the right hand side of Parked.tv site it says:
“Parked.tv is for sale
Offer Range $10 – $99”
If he sells the domain will the service continue?
Actuall that is the price for our packages between $10 to $99, not the price of the domain name. I am launching a new site that will sell the theme and come out of beta by November 1st.
Thanks Leonard for the post and I look forward to continue serving you!
We trust WannaDevelop/Domainstryker much more than we trust epik. By the way,we do not trust epik at all!
I think that’s a great roi. Especially for not doing any link building or new content etc.
I noticed Mike sold some of his developed sites on a forum recently which proved having an actual site up makes a sale more likely.
thanks for sharing numbers.
Thanks for sharing Elliot.
That is more than most folks do for sure!
It looks like you could make some money doing this by scaling it, but it makes you wonder when Demand Media, Associated Content, and all the copy-cat wanna-be companies that will be coming out of the woodwork like cockroaches here soon to grab a piece of that Demand Media business model pie.
After the engines get saturated four, five, six times more than they are now…….where will all these Epik and Wanna sites be?
What I have learned on the Net is ride the wave, but never stop looking for the next. Nothing seems to last as a business model on the Net….somehow, somebody, or something crushes it.
Sites really look great, but I think Ads placement could be better – may be at the beginning of articleы?