Archive for June, 2009

Domain name addiction

So I just got a batch of domain names which need to renewed (.co.uk names are due for renewal every 2 years) Now I looked down the list and there was 14 names which need to be renewed in july 2009. Not too bad I thought, then I looked at the names and out of the 14 names I have only developed one of them in 2 years !!!!

domain addict

However I am not alone- after speaking to lots of other people in this industry, it appears that this is normal practice in this game !

It isn’t all doom and gloom, as good .co.uk domains will always rise in value as they become more rare to purchase for registration fee. Just take a look at Domain Prices and see how much some domain names sell for. Alan the owner of acorn domains (another fantastic resource for us doman name addicts to meet up) does a great job in keeping this site updated, and it is great for people who have investments in premium generic domains, as it shows proof of domain name sales to people who do not understand the value of domain names, and also how important they can be to a business.

Now don’t get me wrong, every domain name is not valuable but it makes me think twice when I see my domain renewals and worry that if I let them drop, the may become be valuable in the near future and I will have missed out on an opportunity.

Take tradeexperts.co.uk for example. A nice domain which is an excellent name for a website offering all the details of the best tradesmen over the UK. I had an offer late last year for £500 for the name, and I declined it. The name came up for renewal last month, and once again I paid the £6 registration fee to renew it for the next 2 years, as someone has already shown interest in the name. The name is still undeveloped and will never be developed by myself, so should I have taken the £500 ? But then I have telecommunicate.co.uk which was due for renewal 2 weeks ago, and I am going to let it drop, much to my dislike.

Don’t get me wrong I have made a VERY healthy profit from selling some domain names over the years, and only yesterday a friend of mine messaged me asking what he should do with a domain he bought. He bought it approx 6 months ago for £1,000 and he has now been offered £2,000 for the name and he hasn’t even done anything with it, and this is a growing trend as domains become rarer.

Domain name addiction is something which takes up quite a bit of my time, I have 100′s of good domain names sitting there undeveloped but I still look for more domain names to invest in. It isn’t a “bad” addiction as such, but you need to have an eye for the market (which luckily I feel I have got, after buying and selling domains for a few years from £xx to mid £xx,xxx level )

I would be interested to hear comments from other domain name addicts and what reasons they keep buying names and not developing them and just hoard them away.

A little affiliate marketing experiment for you all

Ok after the success of my HUGE niche affiliate marketing thread on A4u forum (link) I decided to do an experiment with a brand new domain and in the public eye, so I can chart my progress and see how well this works.

fingers crossed

At approx 6.30pm tonight I registered facing bankruptcy (which was a very nice available to register .co.uk domain name !) and I have spend just over 1 hour building the site.

I am not adding any backlinks, apart from the one above and I am also using this blog post to get the site indexed.

According to the Google keyword estimator “facing bankruptcy” gets 1000 exact match searches a month. Not bad at all for a “debt” type keyword with little competition and the domain name being available to register.

The idea behind this site, is that if someone is “facing bankruptcy” and typing this into a search engine, there is a good chance that they are looking for alternative methods to bankruptcy.

The site presents the visitor with reasons against bankruptcy (visually with red crosses) and why an IVA could suit them better (green ticks).

I will be updating this blog post to keep you updated with progress on search engine positions, how long it took to get it indexed and time spent so far – 1 hour 23 mins (including this blog post)
Money spent so far – £6.93 on domain name

This goes to show that if you do enough thinking and research, there are good names available to register and can make money if you think out of the box !

Wish me luck !

RIP Michael Jackson

I have woken up this morning to the most shocking news that I have heard in years – Michael Jackson is dead. I am writing this post in absolute shock and sadness. He was my all time favorite music artist of all time, and I have never got tired of his music. Regardless of the rumours, no-one can take away the fantastic music he created over the years.

I am totally lost for words to write anything else, but all I know is, it is the biggest  loss to music of all time. My thoughts are with his children at this time.

Rest in peace Michael Jackson

offline advertising – a cheaper alternative to PPC ?

I have been wanting to trial this properly for some time now, and after doing some basic maths, it appears that this could be very profitable if done in the right industries and in the right ways.

One of my first ventures was running a local community magazine, and it was very surprising the response rate I got from various things in that for both local businesses and websites.

If done correctly, it is possible to make money where ever you are, or what ever you are doing

If done correctly, it is possible to make money where ever you are, or what ever you are doing

Example
From memory, I think the average response rate from a flyer is 1% (some quote a 2-3% response rate, but I prefer to be as pesemistic as possible) so let me show you an example of how using this could effect your ROI.

There are thousands of offers for 5000 x A5 full colour double sided flyers, for as little as £100 if you look around on Google. Couple this with a flyer distributer who will deliver a leaflet for approx £30 per 1000 leaflets, that makes it £250 for 5000 leaflets delivered through peoples doors.

For maximum ROI, you need to concentrate on a product which is lead based, such as loans, debt consolidation, iva etc as they will all pay you just on someones information received and NOT the physical sale of the product.

Lets say that a Debt Consolidation lead will give you £50 per lead.

1% success rate from a flyer = 5000/100 = 50.
So 1% success rate would be 50 applications.
50 applications x £50 a lead = £2,500 from a £250 initial investment.

Not bad I am sure you will agree ! however it isn’t as easy as just that, as you will need to plan your areas where you target the leaflet drops to specific demographics. For example there is no point in targetting sheltered accommodation with a bunch of leaflets, as they will very unlikely have a computer to action your website.

To break even you would only need 5 leads from 5000 flyers to cover all your costs (this is only a 0.1% response rate)

I shall be trialling this out in the next few weeks, so I will report back with my findings then, but if you use your head and think outside the box, this really could make you some fantastic ROI and with very little effort at all.

TIP 1 : If you can afford to pay a little bit extra, pay for a “single flyer drop” – this means the distributor will deliver ONLY your leaflet through a door at once, instead of a “multi flyer drop” where your flyer will be posted through doors with another 3 or 4 leaflets. You are virtually guaranteed to have a better success rate doing it this way.

TIP 2 : You may think you can save yourself £150 and deliver the flyers yourself. To deliver all 5000 will take you a good few days, and is viable if you can spare the time and don’t mind all the walking, but from experience I would prefer to pay someone the £150.

Good luck and if you do trial this out, I would love to hear your results.

Anything is possible when you put your mind to it !

After hearing lots of people whinging about how tough their lives are, take a look at this guy

No arms or legs and yet he is putting his efforts into something he can do, rather than things he can’t. Maybe there is a lesson in this for all of us in business as well as personal life – anything is achievable regardless of your circumstances, when you put your mind to it.

A true inspiration I am sure you will agree

Modern Schools are very outdated. They need to change with the times

This is something that has bugged me for ages, and something which comes up quite often in our house. Modern schools are very outdated and the majority of areas covered in most subjects they teach, do not help our children in anyway whatsoever. A bit harsh you may think, but let’s put this into reality by choosing a few subjects and some things they are about in modern schools today.

The young children held hands in support of each others decision to bunk off another pointless Welsh lesson

The young children held hands in support of each others decision to bunk off another pointless Welsh lesson

Maths
How many people need to know or have used “What is pie” in the real world ? Pie = 3.142. So ? How does that help me when I am trying to pay my bills, or working out how much tax is due on my earnings ?

Science
Photosynthesis – Why would anyone need to know that this is, and how will it help them in the real world ? Ok great if you want to become a scientist when you leave school, but is this the majority of our children ?

English
Shakespeare – Yeh ok they may be classic books and a great writer, but again, how does this help our children in any way when they have left school ? I can just see it now :

Shop worker – “That will be £3.99 please madam”
Shakespeare educated school leaver – “May a plague descent on both your houses, nothing comes amiss, so money comes withal”
Shop worker – “eh ?”

Yet another few hours wasted studying rubbish which won’t help better “one’s” life

Religious Education
Why do our kids HAVE to believe in god, jesus and how the world was created ? this is the subject that annoys me more than any other. Schools just push this trash onto our children and don’t give them the option not to take part. For example, the amount of school plays we have attended and the amount of times the teachers have said “let us pray” was shocking. Surely if “god” had created the world and freedom for mankind, then we should have the choice NOT to take part in this wasted subject.

French
Great if you want to work or live in France, but how many of us actually want to do this ? English is the mutually globally spoken language in almost every country in the world, so wasting 4 hours a week learning how to say “my name is” in french is a sheer waste of time.

German
See above

Welsh (if you live in wales)
Don’t get me started on this one !

Geography
Great if you want to travel around the world and learn about different cultures, but cultures which are in 1980′s text books have moved on. Also fossils ? ! Why do we want to learn about them ? sure if you want to become a paleontologist, but is that really the majority of our kids ? I think not !

How things could be improved
Obviously some things in most subjects DO play an important part in our children’s future, but just the few things I have highlighted above could equate to a number of hours a week, which could be spent doing much more useful and worthwhile things such as

Learning how to write a CV, so you know how to apply for jobs
Learning how to handle a job interview
Learning how to sort bills out and direct debits
Learning how a mortgage works and what it actually means
Learning how credit cards work and the dangers of getting into debt very easily
Learning how to sort out things like car insurance, car tax and MOT
Learning how to work out tax and national insurance payments, especially useful if you want to be self employed
Learning the real responsiblities of having children at a young age, and realising that appearing on Jeremy Kyle for a DNA test DOES NOT make you famous

All of the things above affects EVERYONE regardless of their choice of career in life, so therefore I think they would be deemed alot more suitable if the modern schools took heed and stop wasting time on pointless subjects which help a very slim majority of kids.

All in my humble opinion of course, and just for the record, I hated school and most of the lessons and left with 1 GCSE which was in Information Technology ironically enough. This hasn’t affected making my life a success so far, so AM I BOVVERED ?

Addicted to coke ? talk to Frank

My biggest addiction in life is Coke. Before I hear lots of gasps and “omg” statements, I am not referring to the white powder that you buy from a dodgy looking geezer, I am talking about Coca Cola the soft drink.

Can't beat the real stuff !

Can't beat the real stuff !

Now lots of you may think this is sad or silly, but I can seriously say that I am semi addicited to the stuff. I will walk into a supermarket and if a bottle of coke was £1.59 for a 2 litre bottle, or Pepsi (yuk) was £1.39 for 2 x 2 litre bottles, I would still buy the Coke everytime. The price doesn’t dictate what I choose – the taste does.

I know it is bad for me, but I don’t smoke, I don’t drink (only on special occasions) and I don’t do drugs. Before anyone preaches to me that I am damaging myself, I am well aware of this lol :)

Coke is my fuel !!!!

Anyone else share my passion for the “real stuff” ?

A year ago today was the most nervous day of my life

Happy 1st Wedding anniversary Gem x

At this exact time, a year ago today I was in my mothers house with my 2 best friends drinking champage ! My wedding was in a few hours time and I was very very nervous !

All this build up, money spent, organisation was coming to ahead at 1pm and I would be marrying the love of my life.

I can honestly say it was one if the best decisions I have ever made in my life, as Gem is my rock. She looks after me and loves me like a wife should love a husband, and puts up with my long hours on my computer procrastinating and coming up with the “next big thing”

We have been through some tough times like most couples, but I can honestly say that this truly is a partnership for life.

So I want to take this opportunity to say to you Gem “I love you 365 times as much as I did, this time last year, and there isn’t a day that goes past where I am grateful for everything you do and I am thankful for fate for bringing us together in the beginning. I love you forever x”

And here is the best present that Gem got me, which was opened at 5.30am this morning! (we were like big kids exchanging and opening all our presents lol)

Anniversary

what’s that in my hand ? lol I love it !

Imagine you had a time machine ? Well I had 3 for fathers day !

I am always saying to my wife “Imagine you had a time machine and was able to go back to 1996 and register 20 of the best domain names available, you would be a multi millionaire overnight in 2009 if you sold them all off”. Imagine my surprise this morning when I woke up on fathers day with not 1 time machine but 3 TIME MACHINES !

Deloreans

She thought it would be a great gift for fathers day, if all 3 of my kids each bought me a replica scale model of each of the Deloreans from the Back to the future trilogy (3 of my favorite films from the 1980′s)

Needless to say I was overwhelmed at the thought that had gone into it buying these for me, and managing to find such unique gifts for me, as I am apprarently the worlds worst person to buy presents for.

I then opened my next present (from my wife) and it was this :

Real Hustle Dvd

The truth behind Chris Clarksons income was now apparent

The real hustle is one of my favorite TV programs and it was a nice surprise to get a DVD of the world’s greatest bar bets. After looking at the cover for a few seconds (and stopped looking at Jessica Clement !), I couldn’t help but notice a passing resemblance between Paul Wilson (pictured right) and the one and only Chris Clarkson ! What do you think ?

Chris Clarkson
My final and definatly the best present I got was these :
 Fathers day ties

Each of my 3 kids had designed me a personalised tie, which was sent to them as a gift from Hannah Swift as part of the design competition from the Yellow Moon website which offers a great range of educational and unique gift ideas.

I am very pleased with all my gifts from my wife and children, and I would like to wish all the other fathers out there a happy fathers day also :)

cheap holidays on the .net – is it possible ?

Alot of you already know about my involvement within the online travel industry with some of my various websites, well we made a serious investment into a premium domain name ourselves yesterday when we completed the deal of Cheap holidays for a respectable 4 figure sum (£x,xxx)

cheap holidays

I can hand on heart say, that this is the first ever premium .net name I have ever bought, let alone developed ! I have always found it easier to rank .co.uk and .org.uk domains on Google UK, so this will be a test of skills and knowledge to see if I can get this one ranked. I am hoping with some of the recent algorythim changes, which appears to be showing alot more other extenstions in the index, that this will help me as well.

With the amount of search traffic out there for this, this is one of those domains where even if it doesn’t do well in google, it can still make a very respectable amount from Bing and Yahoo.

Let the experiment commence !