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Is it worth it to develop domains into websites?

Labeled as advice in Domain Buying and Selling Discussion started by Ostrados, Oct 31, 2018.

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  1. Ostrados

    Ostrados Upgraded Member Blue Account

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    It is often advised to develop your domains into websites to increase their value, AKA domain flipping.. but I am not sure if is worth it. What made me feel like that is that I see a lot of websites sell at low prices on Flippa auctions or do not sell at all, I myself bought a website from Flippa auction in the past, the website was about video games and it had large content and was auto updated with new games and reviews (but the content was not unique) .. and I bought it only for $160 which is low price for the time it takes to develop a full website like that.

    Also I see often on Flippa some websites that were sold for values less than the raw domain value! for example you can find a high value one word (.com) website that sell for less than 100k while the domain itself can be sold for 200k alone.

    The problem is that selling a website requires proven website stats like traffic and revenue, while selling a domain doesn't (other than checking if it is blacklisted or had spam history). So if the domain was very good by itself and then you develop it and offer it for sale as website, if it has no good traffic stats (which is the case in most flipped domains) then nobody will care about it even if the domain name has high value by itself.. so in theory you are decreasing the domain value not increasing it!

    I am a web developer myself but I develop websites for my own use, I started thinking about developing a couple of my domain names that I like, to sell them at higher price (in theory).. but as I said I am not sure if is worth the time and commitment needed.

    What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
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  2. Eric Lyon

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

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    Hello,

    I do the same thing. I like to develop all the domain assets I invest into. Not to just increase potential value to someone that likes the idea and wants to expand on it with a bigger budget than I have to put into it, but also so the domain names pay their own renewals each year with no out of pocket to me.

    Most generate well over the yearly renewals making everything green. I'm generally not in a big rush to sell any of those these days since they remain revenue assets (even though small) and not liabilities (Added financial strain).

    he days of the mini-sites and landers is coming to a close for being able to please search engines enough to get you any organic exposure. That means each development needs more quality/unique content, optimized niche targeting, search engine optimized, SSL Certificates, and a method of conversion.

    Without at least the above these days, you're fighting uphill against a waterfall.

    You really need to weigh your options. What works for one may not work for another.

    Is 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year of development to get a domain asset properly built-up too much of your time?

    Alternatives are 2 to 7 day turnaround static html lead generating sites with a product/service/PPL - (PPC isn't that great these days on mini-sites). This method could develop out a portfolio faster and then one can start cherry picking the ones to expand on for better targeting and verticals in the future.

    If a site can't pay 1 years renewal within 6 months of launch, flip it and focus on the ones that are producing. Take what works and apply it to a new development, maybe with a few added tweaks to enhance the machine better than the last time.

    My networks of sites have risen and fallen multiple times since 2005. I'll get a sweet spot and stick it until it runs dry in a year or two, then rinse and repeat with a better strategy the next time. My last network of sites (80% of them) were lost due to lack of security updates.

    We learn as we go. For me, better security was my lesson to take into new projects.
     
  3. Ostrados

    Ostrados Upgraded Member Blue Account

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    @Eric Lyon thanks for your input, I never thought about monetizing the domains, I will think about it from that perspective.

    I agree with you about PPC, IMO it is no better than parked page with ads, for products and services website that need a lot of time and commitment, maybe affiliate marketing is faster and better approach.

    These days developing websites is fast and easy, however the problem is with the content, if you want to put unique content then it will take a long time. You can pay for someone to write the content for you but that will be expensive for a small website you intend to flip eventually.

    Can you share a couple of your successful websites that you made?

    thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  4. Eric Lyon

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

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    I agree.
    I still have a few left that were able to be recovered after the last few networks that went down and a new one that's already paid it's own renewal and still growing in the new network. I'll give a few examples that are monetized a little different.
    • This ones the only network 1 survivor and now primary parent brand (Service/Product/subscription driven): ScorpionAgency.com
    • This ones a survivor of network 2 (PPC information/guide driven): LocalAutoSalvageYards.com
    • This one is a network 3 survivor (Lead generation driven): SanAntonioLogo.com (Forwards to SanAntonioLogoDesigner.com )
    • This one is a network 4 survivor (Tutorial/service lander): OdinsGreenBeard.com
    • This one is part of network 5, but still in development/beta testing (Resource/Product/Lead generation/membership/subscription/paid listing/etc. driven): OfficeDrift.com
    I hope that helps give a general idea.

    As far as content goes, I've always found that it's easier to develop in a niche you already have knowledge in than it is to wing it completely. The project moves a little faster too. :)

    But then, it helps having knowledge in the domain being invested in prior to development as well. :) - The better the asset, the better the odds.
     
  5. J Sokol

    J Sokol Established Member

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    How true. I always appreciate hearing the perspective of someone who has been doing this for a long time.Thanks!
     
  6. viniproject09

    viniproject09 Upgraded Member Blue Account

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    You can do some marketing analysis on the domain keyword , if you are putting efforts in marketing. You should make it more valuable. You might don't if it works out for you.
     
  7. LeapNames

    LeapNames LeapNames.com Gold Account

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    This is something I constantly struggle with actually. I often see domains that as a domainer I probably wouldn't buy to try to resell, but for a build out I would in a heartbeat. For example, I saw two domains in closeouts this morning: WeddingPinatas .com and MobilityBalls .com. Each of these phrases has a little bit of monthly exact phrase search volume (around 200-300/mo) and could easily be built into a little affiliate type site that would probably generate around $50-100 per month with not a ton of work.

    At this point though I have a bunch of different sites generating income like this and it's getting tough to manage/keep up with them all because I want to keep producing content on each of them for SEO purposes. Years ago I had a top ranked website that was hit by the exact match domain update and I went from making about 15k profit per month to around 1k profit per month over night. I had one other site that was also making about 1k per month which wasn't effected, but it really made me change the way I thought about websites and how I didn't want to have so much of my income tied up in one asset. I probably have gone overboard since then because I have around 10 different sites/income streams from online alone this days haha. I have had to begin outsourcing aspects of the businesses, which is a process in itself when it comes to finding good people you can count on that won't eat up all of the profit the sites making.

    I personally wouldn't build out a good 1 word .com domain name, but with a $10-15 dollar domain name similar to the two I mentioned above why not give it a shot if you have the free time to build it out I feel like?
     
  8. namemarket

    namemarket Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Re the 2 domains above, how can relatively low traffic generate such good income?

    Which affiliates do you use? Every program I have tried over many years ends up worthless.

    Can you please elaborate on exact match update as to what that is and why it reduced profit from 15k to 1k?

    Thank you
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  9. LeapNames

    LeapNames LeapNames.com Gold Account

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    Sorry I should have been more clear on this - personally would shoot for higher searched terms in the 500-1k per month range myself, and probably not as specific as Mobility Balls which are low ticket items. Of the 2 the wedding pinatas domain would be much better to target as an affiliate IMO. Also, I said only $50-100 per month as an example for those sites, which I wouldn't honestly consider good income.

    I have used good old Amazon, ebay, walmart, best buy, ect. for product related ones such as those 2 above. I'll PM you a little more about what I personally do in my main niche.

    *edit - it's not letting me send you a message here*
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  10. namemarket

    namemarket Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    OK thanks please PM me.

    P.S. What is the exact match update and why did it cause reduction of income form 15k to1k?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  11. LeapNames

    LeapNames LeapNames.com Gold Account

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    It's not letting me send you a PM? I looked at a couple other profiles and they do, but yours won't let me for some reason haha can you PM me?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  12. offthehandle

    offthehandle . Gold Account VIP

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    I bought several on flippa, lost money on all. Whats even worse than that investment, because the content wasn’t unique Google will use your human intelligence (steal your ideas) and scrape how you categorized it and take other data points from you in order to rank those sites within Google that had the unique content. I have developed out a number of sites that way with automated posting plugins and Google refused adsense and I watched them scrape, that and all the other AWS scumbag VPS bots. Until I blocked them and blocked Google too for awhile. They have large databases too, I had 10,000 indexed pages, but none ranked high, only helped others who who google ranked. I invested quite a bit of time and added my own content also, but really no benefit.
     
  13. namemarket

    namemarket Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks for the detailed info I got by PM, much appreciated. However, still don't see how 200-300 visits a month can possibly generate $50-$100 month revenue. My experience over a lot of years and many sites is website ads get about a typical 1 to 2% CTR . If valid 300-mo gets about 6 clicks on the link but then there's a need to again factor in the 2% number meaning another 2% of those who clicked the link actually order from the affiliate, using that 2% ratio again.

    So if there's say 6 cicks a month it would take about 10-mos or more to get 1 order, based on those estimated numbers. So if your affiliate such as Amazon or whoever gets 1 order every 10 months how does it generate $50-$100, especially with such low order payout levels on the products and services? Sorry I just don't get it. Is may math wrong or am I missing something?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  14. Ostrados

    Ostrados Upgraded Member Blue Account

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    200-300 visitors per month is nothing, I saw websites with 150,000 visitors per month generating as little as $90/mo through PPC, even with affiliate they will not make more than $1k per month (in best case).
     
  15. offthehandle

    offthehandle . Gold Account VIP

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    In my experience, the only Amazon affiliate sites I have seen that others make real money are organic ranked fake “Review sites”. Written with spun content, stolen specifications and text copied from real industry sites, they get ranked by camoflauged PBN’s. Its terrible Google ranks fake reviews. There is a whole thread on BlackHatWorld about it.

    I have another high trafficed domain site I bought with popular backlinks and 600,000 visits so far, besides one mentioned above and don’t want to do the pbn’s and my total Amazon income is under $100. In 11 months. Total waste, imo. Same with Adult on another thread I posted the data. Millions in hits, hundreds of Thousand views and income dismal. Learned a lot about bots and where they come from, wordpress, etc.
     
  16. JB Lions

    JB Lions Santa Hat Connoisseur VIP

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    --
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  17. coinosis

    coinosis Established Member

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    I am an eCommerce entrepreneur and wannabe profitable domainer lol - so in regards to development, yes it is usually worth it to develop a domain if you have expert/mastery knowledge in the niche.

    As @Eric Lyon stated nowadays with search engine criteria being strict, you really have to invest a lot of time into building up content and think outside the box as far SEO goes. Tons of A/B testing and tweaks in regards to what yields best PPC ROI and organic traffic.

    Personally, I have found e-service/digital agencies being the easiest to build up considering how cheap it can be, given you have a viable business model and source of leads. Best of luck with developing!
     
  18. ~ The 34 Year Buzz!!

    ~ The 34 Year Buzz!! Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Develop ahead of the curve (starting as a FUN hobby in 2006) and be in the right place in late 2018.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  19. LeapNames

    LeapNames LeapNames.com Gold Account

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    It all depends on the type of affiliate site and the niche I feel like. For example, I'm making around $100-150 per sale through the most used links on my main affiliate site. I have a few others on there where it's usually $20-30 per link as well though. I'm also using YouTube and putting affiliate links there in the pinned comments and video descriptions for all videos as well as earning around $150-200 per month just from google adsense ad revenue there + around $750 per month for sponsored video content. This doesnt count people clicking the affiliate links there. Several of my sites also have paid courses that generally are around $67-97 as well. At this point it's pretty passive outside of creating a couple YouTube videos per month, but it was a lot of work upfront.

    Granted, what I'm mainly describing is my main cash cow site right now. Other smaller ones I have that I haven't put as much effort into are generating around $50-75/mo. However, if I put the work in I believe that they can reach similar levels to this one. Right now I'm working on a slightly different model with a much bigger focus on courses on my newest site while the passive income from the others flows in.
     
  20. LeapNames

    LeapNames LeapNames.com Gold Account

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    In my case what you're missing is I'm not relying on Amazon associates alone on any of my sites, but courses, youtube adsense with a channel related to the site, ect. Granted, it may be hard to come up with a pinata related course, but you could create youtube videos displaying different types, how they're made, show how much fun people have with them, ect. Also you could easily create a mobility ball related course with stretches and techniques used to increase flexibility, relieve tissue pain, ect. and sell the thing for like $27-37 on your site. You have a buyer looking for that specific type of thing right there on the site already and it's another potential way to get to that $50-100 per month mark if that's what you're shooting for.
     
  21. .X.

    .X. NameFeature.com Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I have 4 websites, 2 were launched in 2007, one in 2009, one in 2010, with much trial and error, I learned what I was doing and exactly what I was trying to accomplish.

    As the years have gone by, it has gotten more and more difficult to maintain the standards of the sites as Google makes changes frequently and the sites must be updated to keep in guidelines with google.

    Multiple streams of income is a much harder task today, than it was years ago, on top of that, there are hack attempts, jokers and fools have f*cked up the flow of the sites.

    For instance, I had one site that a person clicked my Adsense right out of business, I lost my Adsense account, despite showing evidence of what had taken place in an appeal process, didn’t matter, account closed.

    I was using Clickbank, shareasale for a few years, did decent with those two.

    I figured the middle man was problem, so I contacted small businesses with in my niches to sell their products directly, i had great success with a new startup company that made picante sauce, I then pursued bigger companies to become a sole proprietor seller of their product, I landed a good company and began selling medical sleep apnea gear, not the actual cpap machine, but the masks, hoses, filters and ect.

    To close, it is every bit worth developing websites, but use due diligence in making sure you are fully prepared and do not launch a site until it is completed to the fullest, unless your intentions are to sell the website. Stay proactive with Google guidelines, stay away from extremely saturated niches. That if you are looking to execute sales of product.

    My sites still do well every month, not near as well as they did in say 2012, but overall it has been a huge blessing and very rewarding venture.

    Because I don’t code, design, or do SEO very well, I had my sites built, designed and SEO done, redesigned in 2017, I have a person I pay to keep them SEO. So I have expenses to pay on an ongoing basis.

    With yourself being a developer, provided you can do SEO, you are in good shape to start, finding the profitable niche is the hardest part, unless your intent is just to develop and flip.

    Best of luck to you, you can do this! Go get you some action.
     
  22. Domains - Wanted

    Domains - Wanted Active Member VIP

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    Okay, here goes...

    From my observation, most people get a domain, more or less by accident, then develop a site, thinking their main hurdle is getting traffic, getting it positioned in Google and then make money from Adsense and affiliate marketing. Okay, sure, you can do that, or...

    Let's start with economies of scale, which is key here, as in any business undertaking: you need to think big, how big exactly is up to you, your time constraints, priorities, resources you can bring to bear, but a business plan involving developing one or eventually even a dozen websites, hoping each will bring you $xx, is... well... :facepalm::facepalm:

    I have been building up my domain portfolio for years, planning out networks of hundreds of sites, building my know how of the industries and contact databases. I handregister (for the most part), dropcatch, buy at auction only names which fit the plan one way (monetizing) or another (hybrids, funnels, PBN's).

    Equally important, I also have an insurance policy: most of the domains will be easy to sell off for mid $xxx to low $xxxx, especially after being developed and well reasonably positioned, in case a given niche doesn't pan out as expected. Having dozens, if not hundreds, of domains in any of the selected niches, I'm happy to sell a few off to shore up the budget, if a buyer comes along now.

    About monetizing... short version is, I have my own product (service) to market at $x,xxx a pop. Plus I'm in the process of developing other closely related $xx - $xxx products to fill in the lower end (needed to upsell the higher end). I'm more than happy to add affiliate marketing to this mix when a third party product or service is a good fit, but that's the icing on the cake. The cake itself is all but mine! :cigar:

    Last but not least, if you want to get into website development and monetization it really pays off to roll up your sleeves and take a few months (or years, depending on your time constraints and priorities) to hone in your skillset! Learn system administration, automation (bash scripting and Ansible or equivalent), SQL database design, PHP and frameworks, or rather one of them that best tickles your fancy (mine's CakePHP). Learn Drupal and Drush (Drupal's shell, CLI), not Wordpress (or both if you plan to go into PBN territory).

    Learn all about SEO! And I mean that "all about" literally: start not with Google's Webmaster Tools, but with... Black Hat World :sneaky:
    You don't have to go out and build yourself hundreds of PBN's, but that black hat SEO stuff will give you the best perspective on white hat SEO as well. Fortified like this, it's time for Google's Webmaster Tools :xf.cool:

    Learning all that is key to choosing the right niches, the right domains, not to mention developing them and monetizing. And most importantly: automating the heck out of everything! Which has to do with having an exit strategy and a subject for a whole different ebook! :vulcan:

    Knowing all that stuff, you simply have an entirely different mindset and resources to tackle any project. Which is not to say that you need to be a sysadmin (I outsource this to Mr. Ansible :xf.wink:), a PHP coder and do your own SEO. Outsource the heck out of all that stuff, as much as you can afford it. But do so with a high degree of confidence, very well informed on what you need done and qualified to supervise the people doing the jobs for you :cigar::cigar:

    Now, answer yourself if developing and monetizing domains / websites is really for you :wacky:
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 2:28 AM
  23. Ostrados

    Ostrados Upgraded Member Blue Account

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    @domains-wanted
    @.X.


    Thanks for your input. I have advanced experience in all of that: PHP, MySql, HTML, CSS, JS.
    I can create a very advanced website from scratch without using any CMS. I have developed my own PHP framework which took long time to create initially, but now when creating a new website I just reuse the libraries and develop the website in short time.

    I mainly struggle in SEO, I never tried black hat and honestly I do not plan to try it, because it is too risky. I usually just pay for someone to write quality content, and then do guest posts as my main strategy for SEO.

    The most difficult part for me is choosing what to do, this is the main thing that keeps me hesitated from starting on developing new websites. What should I work on? Is it worth it? ..etc. I just stay in research loop for long time without actually starting.

    The reason behind this hesitation is the experience I went though in past years. I developed a huge website with my partner it took us years to finish it, and now the website is a startup company but not yet monetized, it is a kind of websites that can only be correctly monetized with huge number of users so we are now just focusing on growth. Now we are in position that we cannot afford the costs needed, and we are now looking for big investors to help.

    So my experience is that we did something bigger than our limited resources, and now I am thinking to do something smaller and easier to monetize, but in same time I don't want to waste my time, I don't want small profit margins as in AdSense, I hate affiliate marketing I don't like it because it needs writing a lot of original content (who have time for that these days). What I am looking for is to sell a product to end user, the product should be digital to cut the shipping/storing trouble and costs. And then comes the hardest part: What niche should I work on? All niches I researched are either saturated or have little demand, there is no in between!

    My initial post in this thread, was about domains flipping, which is developing domains to websites (that are not fully monetized) to increase the value of the domains, but now the discussion went into fully developing a website for monetizing, which is a very welcomed and a worthy discussion by itself, it is very helpful to learn from past experiences of others.

    What I learned from this thread is that, domain flipping is not worth it, full website development is worth it on long run.. so thanks all for your valuable input.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 10:15 AM
  24. Domains - Wanted

    Domains - Wanted Active Member VIP

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    (y)(y)(y)
    I was not recommending that you try it. I said: learn it! :sneaky:
    The specifics are beyond the scope of this thread, but quick and dirty: those who take on Google at it's own game are some of the best SEO experts around. Lurk in the forums, ask questions. Learn from the best. Find out what really works and what doesn't. How to protect your investment from Google's arrogance, arbitrary changes of the rules of the game! :banghead:
    Quality content is key these days. Thing is, there is the hard way and there is the smart way. There are people around who have need to rapidly develop hundreds of websites with quality content. You'll be amazed what innovative methods, shortcuts, have been developed to meet those constraints :xf.confused::xf.confused:
    It's worth it! If you know what you're doing. With your qualifications, hands-on experience in this area and thinking arizing from all that, you're way ahead of most people around (y)
    Oh really? Haven't heard of FBA then, have we? Again, out of scope of this thread, but do take the time to google FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) :xf.grin::xf.grin:
    I have great news for you then: you're wrong! There are niches galore waiting to be exploited :xf.grin::xf.grin:
    Lets put it another way: website development and monetization is much more profitable long term. Short term, nothing beats a quick domain flip! :greedy:
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 2:09 PM
  25. Eric Lyon

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

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    Flipping domains is still very viable. Don't rule it out. Development is a long term sustainable solution with potential for additional revenue and value building. It's not for everyone, as most fail in multiple revenue stream campaigns.

    As long as you are developing a domain investment that has infinite scaling potential, you can slowly scale/grow it over time, as the analytical data starts to show better targeting options for campaign development.

    Fine tuning a websites target audience as you go is important. You can have all the traffic in the world, but if the marketing campaigns, services, or products are not optimized for the target audience good enough, no conversion will happen and your marketing efforts/costs are wasted.
     

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