Eric Lyon

Why I Develop Every Domain Name Investment

By Eric Lyon, Apr 8, 2015
  1. Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Contest Holder ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Reminder, this article is 4 years old and many of my strategies have slightly to drastically changed over the years, along with the domain industry, Google algorithms, niche focuses, and monetizing.

    Most were not on marketplaces and done in DM, eMail, Over the phone, In-person, and sometimes in chat (back in older java days).

    This one was public I sold back in 2011 for a mere $59.00 back then (Which, at the time nobody would buy it undeveloped):

    This one was also public in 2014 for a mere $50.00 (Which, at the time nobody would buy it undeveloped):

    The biggest developed asset sale was for $7,500.00, so far.

    I can't even count how many quick flips I've done over the years that started as a $1 Godaddy coupon for a .com + 2 hours on a free template for 3 to 5 pages ($1 + 2 hours labor at $20 per hour = $41.00 total investment) for $50 to $250 each. A lot! But became way too time consuming for the return.

    Keep in mind, in 20 years, the domains registered today (Without development) may also have more value. It's a patience game too, if one is not good at outbound or networking.

    When it comes to a single website generating revenue of at least 3-figures+ per month, it's consistently been a digital product or service that I owned/operated and not affiliated with. Which also, eventually, died off when a trend faded away or the site(s) were DDoSed, SQL injected, etc... Leading to starting over from scratch again. It seems like once every 2 to 5 years I've had to rotate, drop, and rebuild to latch onto new trends and get away from the majority of the assets I've owned (With the exception of a few that survived the test of time).

    I've had sites that got 100k+ visitors in a 3 month span (Affiliate) over the years and only generated $5. I've also had sites that only pulled 15 visitors in a month, but converted 10% to 50% of them, every month at $100 to $500 per month (Service/Product). If we count royalties as being similar to affiliate, those have converted anywhere between $10 to $100 per month with 30 to 200 visitors per website those months. Of course, not all campaigns convert like that, only the ones that are perfectly laid out, perfectly targeted to the viewer, and close to perfectly optimized.

    Personally, while mini-sites do still have potential with all the right variables in play, it's very time consuming to do. Keep in mind that every 6 to 12 months, code can be outdated and replaced by new standards, causing a massive update on all developed assets to keep them in compliance.

    It can still be done and is done. Take a look at various website sales from multiple venues to get an idea of which niche and type of sites are moving fast and which ones are not getting any play. If you're wanting to flip faster, then the asset needs to be targeted to the biggest demands. Otherwise, just make sure they are monetized so they have a chance to pay their own renewals each year until they do sell.

    What works for one may not work for another. It worked for me, but the markets, industry, policies, algorithms, etc. have changed and are not what they used to be back then.

    I'm more focused on mega 30k to 50k+ page sites these days (E.g. / / Etc..), however, I do still have some older developed minisite assets that survived the test of time and still generate leads/revenue (E.g. / / Etc.. )

    I've turned down offers on both the mega sites/brands I mentioned, over the years. Each time I get an inquiry, it's for more than the last time, which is predominantly because of the massive reach in brand awareness the domains/brand/sites have now and continue to expand.

    It's funny, but it seems these days, it's the domains you no longer want to sell that people inquire about. Go figure. lol - I suppose it happens that way for everyone after holding for a decade or two or speeding up the process by developing a genuine business model on a domain asset and scaling it until someone notices that reaches out to make a curiosity purchase offer or partnership offer. The OfficeDrift asset has only been developed 2 years now and has had 3 offers to purchase and 19 offers to partner.

    I must reiterate though, What works for one may not work for another.
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. Adam27

    Adam27 for Sale or Lease VIP

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    Soooo true! :roll:

  3. lock

    lock VIP

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    Do you think you can hinder and stereotype a domain with development? eg: sexy dot something being used as adult but potential buyer thinks it is ruined the name or even building a blog. Some buyers actually want it to have never been developed.

    The best way to make money is hosting so if your names are doing nothing for you and don’t sell themselves then development is the only way to keep head above water. Nice when one name can pay for another but you can also over do a startup site or not do enough.
  4. Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Contest Holder ★★★★★★★★★★

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    From what I've seen over the years, it's generally a reseller/investor or hobbyist/investor that stereotypes a previous development. End users/investors understand that all that traffic and backlink structure could help kick-start a new development with a pre-existing audience. Granted, many of the audience may not like the new development and never return, however, there will be a % that continue to return out of that batch.

    When it comes to buying a previously developed asset, the main things an end user should be concerned about, is the traffic sources (Bad neighbor sites can and will devalue the asset), Flagged/banned in search engines (It doesn't help to build a brand on an asset that can't be found in organic search results), and large amounts of negative publicity (The more publications referring to the assets as bad/evil, the harder it is to do damage control for new brand on it).

    Everything else, is pretty much moot.

    Resellers and hobbyists on the other hand, have a tendency to either over analyze developed assets, not analyze at all, or sometimes pass up on ones that are salvageable, because they didn't like the past development niche, rather than looking at the same things an end user looks at above.

    At the end of the day, a genuine end user isn't going to care if an asset is developed or not as long as they can build their brand on it without too many damage control issues out of the gate. It's obviously more beneficial to an end user to build a brand on a previously developed asset that can jump start their campaign with pre-existing traffic/visitors. It's this aspect that is most appealing, as long as the traffic is targeted, coming from a reputable or organic source and not forced, paid, or manipulated.

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