First Directory

It is really amazing how fast time flies. It has already been over a month since I set my goal of creating a least a one site a month for the next twelve months, and I am happy to say that the first site is live. While I was planning on creating a car related site for one of the domains I owned, I decided that it would be better to setup a directory site instead.

The site is a directory of related sites for a niche I am already involved in and is closely related to one of my e-commerce stores. As I mentioned before, I was seem to have accumulated quite a few hobby related domains, and I thought this would be a good way to monetize one of them. While I am not expecting it to take off right away, I think that as time goes on it Will get more and more sites listed and the revenue it generates from advertising will grow. For the first couple of month, the site will show mostly Adsense since it will be hard to attract advertisers to the site while it is still stuck in the Google’s sandbox. Once it is listed in the search engines, I should better be able to monetize the site.

I looked at a couple of different directory scripts, before I decided to go with a directory script programmed by Simon over at eSyndiCat.com. The more I looked over the script the more I liked it. It had all the features I was looking for, and at $49.99 for a single site, the price was right. Even better was the fact that they offer an unlimited version for an extra hundred bucks. There is even a free version that is worth checking out if you want to try before you buy. So if you are planning on building a lot of directory sites, this script is worth checking out.

How much do you really need?

While talking with a couple of friends we got on the topic of how much money would be enough to quit our day jobs. Would $50/day be enough? Maybe $100/day? For me I figure it would be somewhere in the middle, but then I got thinking. We were only looking at one side of the coin so to speak. The other side is our monthly expenses. It is truly amazing how much money we spend without even thinking about it. Take my Starbucks addiction for example.

Our daily trips to Starbucks or even eating out a couple times a week are all a major drain on the old pocket book. If we want to quit, we will need to watch our expenses more closely. Let’s take my morning coffee for example; my morning venti caramel macchiato costs $5.14 ($4.80 + tax). It is a reward I give myself for getting my ass out of bed and making it to work, and while it does not seem like much, when we total it up weekly (25.70) or monthly (~$111) it really adds up. My daily caffeine fix costs about $1336 a year! So if I was willing to give it up, I would need less money to live on and I might only need $72.00/day instead of the $75.00 I originally figured.

You need to ask yourself two questions. How much do I really need, and what am I willing to give up to achieve my goal! Once you do that you will realize that your goal is close then you thought.

Goals for my Blog?

Back in May, I talked about my goals for “becoming an internet entrepreneur “. What I did not touch on was my goals for my blog, partly due to the fact that I did not have any goals for my blog. Do I need to have goals for my blog? After all it was created as a way to help other learn how to create multiple streams of income using the internet, and to document my own progress in my achieving my goal of freeing myself from my cubicle.

Not having a goal for my blog has not really been a problem, but after reading thru a post on the Problogger website, I have decided that I should come up with a couple goals for the site. Incase you have never heard of Problogger , it is a blog devoted to making money online with your blog. It also has suggestion on how to increase your readership as well as tons of helpful hints on blog layout and monetizing your blog. Defianetly worth reading if your have your own blog and are trying to figure out ways to monetize it.

There are really only two goals I would like to set out of myself for the next six months and as luck would have it they are both very closely related. First, I would like to increase the frequency with which I post new material, and second, I would like to increase readership. In 6 months I should hopefully have achieved my goals and will be able to set new ones for 2007. In the meantime if you have any topics that you think could or should be discussed, please let me know and I will do my best to cover them.

Klickerz Parking Service

It has been a while since I posted, so I thought I would post about a new domain parking service that I am trying out. A couple of weeks ago, I began the process of moving my parked domains to Klickerz . With a revenue split of 85/15, I should see an increase in my pay per click clicks. I also figured I would give them a try since some domains do better with different parking services and after all isn’t the idea to squeeze the most money out of each parked domains. So since the start of May I have been watching to see how the domains have done, and I have to say that I am impressed so far. Their payout per click is better than Sedo’s for 90% of my domains, but the click thru rate has increased for about 2/3 of the domains I parked with them. My revenue over all has increased, with one domain generating 20 times what it has in the past alone.

Not all domains increased thou. I had a couple of decent revenue domains when parked at Sedo dropped once they were moved, but for the most part, Klickerz is bringing in more revenue then any other parking service I have tried to date.

Klickerz.com has an affiliate program, which pays the referrer a commission equal to 5% of the referred client’s earnings for a period of one year. It is a win win situation since the commission comes out of Klickerz revenue, not the referred client’s earnings. Which means it will not reduce the amount of revenue you receive. So if you are interested in creating a free account and everyone should so they could at least try them out for themselves. All I ask is that you use this link (or any Klickerz link in this article) so they will know I referred you. It costs you nothing, and the affiliate revenue will help me to maintain this web site. If you sign up under me, I will be more then happy to help you out with any questions you have about Klickerz , to the best of my ability.

[tags] Klickerz, monitizing domains, domain parking [/tags]

Simple Niche Websites

So now that I have set a goal of building at least a site every second month, I figure I would start off slow.  I acquired a domain for a car prototype that I would like to build into an information site.   The car was never mass produced, and the only the prototypes, were ever built.  There were a total of 6 prototypes built before the project was cancelled and the rest cut up for scrap.   While I would prefer to develop a forum or ecommerce site, I figure it would be easier to start with a simple site which will give me more time to plan the development of the next site.  The type of site I am planning on creating is better known as a “niche site” since it will focus on one specific topic.

…niche market is addressing a need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream providers. You can think of a niche market as a narrowly defined group of potential customers.
http://sbinfocanada.about.com/cs/marketing/g/nichemarket.htm

I will do my best to document all the associated costs and present it against any future revenue.

Goal for the next 12 months

In order to achieve my goal of becoming an internet entrepreneur, I have to have a plan. So what is my plan? I’ll tell you. I plan to develop all the domains I have been sitting on over the last year or so. One domain at a time! My focus for the last couple of months has been on acquiring domains to monetize them to pay for my growing collection, and while I will continue to purchase domains for domaining I would like to shift my focus to building sites that people will find useful. I will make an attempt to build at least one simple site a month or a complex site every two month. A simple site will be anything from a niche site, blog, or directory, but not a one page site. The complex sites will be a forums or ecommerce sites. While some internet entrepreneur might be able to accomplish my goal in a couple of months if not weeks, I would like to allow for time for the websites I currently operate, as well as my full-time job. I will hopefully be able to write about the progress of each site while it is in development, as well as once it is launched. So check back often.

Escape from the 9 to 5

In my first post, I talked about wanting to “escape from my cubicle; escape from the 9 to 5”. Which is all good, but some people just do not “get it”. Maybe I am being too figurative. The ones who get it usually share in my desire, where as the ones who don’t say things like “you want to be a bum the rest of your life?”, “Man I would love to have your cushy job”. I never said I wanted to be a bum, and if they really want my job, they can have it.

It is not their fault; most of us were brought up believing that we had to get good grades so we could go to university. That way we could get the “good jobs”. If we got a good job, we would get a decent pay, maybe with benefits or even a pension. After toiling away for 40 or so years, we could retire and enjoy life. Lets see what am I missing, oh yah, the wife, 2.5 kids, and the house with the white picket fence. But I ask you why?

I do not have a problem with people going to school or getting good grades. The part I have a problem with is the “job” part. In this day and age I think that there should be more to life then finding a decent job and working for someone else the rest of my life. I am not against work, but I would rather see the fruit of my labour then make someone else rich. The only problem with that is that I do not want a “job”. I want to be an entrepreneur, or more specifically an internet entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur is a loanword from the French language that refers to a person who undertakes and operates a new enterprise or venture, and assumes some accountability for the inherent risks.

… someone who establishes a new entity to offer a new or existing product or service into a new or existing market, whether for a profit or not-for-profit outcome. Business entrepreneurs often have strong beliefs about a market opportunity and are willing to accept a high level of personal, professional or financial risk to pursue that opportunity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrepreneur

Domainer?

My blog seems to have turned into one about domaining since I have removed the posts about my websites and other ventures. So I thought I should set the record straight about my collection of domains and how I got started in domaining. It was not my original intend to buy domains to monetize. I never had a goal of becoming a domainer. I started looking for ways to monetize my domains due to the sheer number of domains I was buying. I am a collector by nature, and did not want to stop collecting domains. If I thought of a good domain for a website, I would buy the domain and related domains. If I thought of a domain that I liked, but it was taken, I would add it to my list of backordered domains. If the current owner was not using the domain, I would email the owner and offer to buy it. After a while the cost of my habit was starting to pile up, and I needed a way to pay for the new registrations not to mention the yearly renewals for the domains that were coming due.

When you are registering between five and twenty domains a month, developing them all is not an option, at least not in the short term, especially if you have a full-time day job. Hence the reason I started using my undeveloped domains for PPC to try to recoup some of the costs.

The bad news was that while my domains were brandable they were not great for PPC. I had bought the domains with the thought of building a site, not the amount of traffic it was getting. Worst yet, most of my domains related to my hobbies or pets which are not high paying keywords to start with. A couple of the domains I owned did produce some PPC revenue, which was a big help at the start. Reading thru the numerous forums I started to understand what to look for when buying a domain for PPC revenue. The more links to the site in search engines or from other sites the better. Type-in traffic (type-in traffic is where a surfer types what they are looking for in the URL bar), is harder to come by now a days, but great if you can find domains with type-in traffic. I also tried to make sure that there were no trade mark issues with the domains. I did not want to end up in court because I had violated someone’s trade mark, but that is a person preference. Some domainers whole portfolio of domains are domains that are typo’s or TM issues, but that is not my style. If at all possible, I looked for domains that could be used for a website so that if I can not monetize it, I could add it to my list for future development or sell it. After a couple of months, I was able to use the revenue generated from a dozen or so domains to pay for my whole domain portfolio. Which only goes to prove that using domains for Pay-per-click can generate a passive stream of income! So I guess that while it is not my main focus, by definition, I am a domainer.

Domaining by the Numbers

In my last post about domaining I mentioned that it is possible to get a steady stream of income from owning domains. Since then I have had a couple of people ask me for more information, so I thought I would try to explain the concept a little better.

I know no better way to explain the concept then to dive right in and do it by the numbers. The yearly cost of registering or renewing a domain is about $7.20 on average after discounts. This equals $.60 a month or about 2 cents a day. Our goal is to monetize the domain thru Pay-per-Click (PPC) so that is brings in more then the $.60 a month. Everything else is gravy so to speak. If the domain brings in just a dollar a month, it would bring in a total of $12.00 a year. So our yearly profit would be the $12.00 minus the $7.20 for a grand total of $4.80. At this point you are saying to yourself “Great I can buy a Starbucks coffee with my profit”, but you are missing the point. Just like buying a stock, you would never want to buy just one.

Domain parking is a passive stream of income. Other then the initial outlay to purchase or find the domains, there is little work involved. Since there is no ongoing effort needed to keep the parking revenue rolling in, other then a tweak now and again, what is to stop you from owning 10, 100, or 1000 domains? If you owned 10 domains your profit would be $48.00, 100 would be $480.00, 1000 would be $4,800.00. For every $1.00/month increase in revenue your profit would increase by $12.00/yr. A domain that was making $2.00/month would bring in $16.80/yr and at $5.00/month your yearly income would increase to $52.80/yr.

Of course acquiring 1000 that can be used for domain parking is not a simple task, but it is possible. Companies like Name Administration or Great Domains own domains in the tens if not hundred of thousands and they all started out by buying one domain at a time. Unfortunately they started years ago, but there are still good domains out there.

To blog or not to blog

To blog or not to blog, that is the question. Sorry, I could not resist. It is a question I have asked myself since I first started thinking about creating a blog, and a few times since. I have watched from the sidelines for the last couple of years as blogging grew up so to speak. It started out as geeky thing only computer nerds did to become main stream. Today there are blogs on almost every topic on the web.

My personal reason for blogging is probably not that much different from a lot of other bloggers. I wanted a place to speak out about different topics and ideas I have, and to add my experiences to that of others. After all, the lessons I have learned have been hard fought, but I have not learned them in a vacuum. I hope that by writing about my experience and ideas, that it will inspire others. Hopefully I can help others to avoid the mistakes I have made along the way and boy have I made my share of mistakes.

So why would I want to help others by helping them avoid the mistakes I made. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I am able to write about my experiences because I have learned from others. The knowledge I have about buying domains, Adsense, building my ecommerce and forum sites came from reading thru websites and posts on forums. Not to mention trial and error. So I will continue to blog, and I hope you will continue to read. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave me a comment or two from time to time.