27 July 2011 ~ 11 Comments

17 Domain Names I Bought This Year, and What I Intend To Do With It

Since starting to work for myself, I launched a couple of websites, thought about hundreds of ideas and ended up buying quite a few domain names in case I want to implement these ideas. As you can see, I have a problem of coming up with too many ideas and having a hard time to focus!

Domain names with SEO in mind

The idea of picking a domain name with SEO in mind is not that the domain name has to sound good or clever, but just that the words composing the domain name itself are searched by a lot of people on google. That’s important because that property (called exact match domain or EMD in SEO terms) provides a nice boost in Google rankings. So, let’s say you want to start a website about gardening tools and “gardening tools” is heavily searched in Google, it makes more sense for SEO to register gardeningtools.com rather than gardenspecialist.com for example. In that case you will get a nice boost in rankings for people searching for “gardening tools”. Of course you can still buy gardenspecialist.com and rank well for “gardening tools”, but it will just take more time :-)

I’m going to list all domain names I’ve bought in the last 5 months and what I plan to do with it. I segmented that list in separate areas of concern:

  • initial idea
  • trying new things: little experiments in a few niches
  • software as a service
  • a few potential ideas for ecommerce
  • miscellaneous software ideas
  • exploiting profitable niches
  • exploiting current events
  • one last idea

Initial idea

As I went to spend 5 months in South-East Asia to work and travel, I wanted to work on a project that would not be too involving, while learning at the same time how to make a website, market it, rank it etc.

  • giftcertificatefactory.com
    That was my initial project that I started in february centered around the idea of providing gift certificate templates to businesses. It is a nice learning experience, but have not brought sufficient income to be able to live off it, which is why I’m refocusing my energies on other projects at the moment.

Trying new things: experiments with a few niches

  • comparatifassurancevoyage.fr
    I implemented this idea (“travel insurance comparison”) and I wrote a few articles a few months ago, but I haven’t got around making it successful, doing the marketing, building backlinks… I saw a need for such a tool in France and I’m pretty sure it could be quite successful, but I guess I’m just not that extremely passionnate about travel insurance! On the other hand, I guess nobody really is :-)
  • calculerimc.com
    I’ve made this one recently, it’s about calculating your BMI (Body Mass Index) online. It’s a very simple tool but I did learn a few things along the way like how to build links manually by finding potential link partners, requesting links, following up… If you want to know more about it, check my post about Creating a Small Website to Earn Passive Income: Second Attempt.

Software as a service

  • partagedefichier.com: Dropbox for small businesses
    That’s actually the one idea I’m going to focus on now: doing a software as a service solution for small businesses to help them with file sharing. “partage de fichier” means “file sharing” in french and it was, strangely enough, still available even though there are 2900 exact match searches on Google per month (that means, 2900 people look for exactly this keyword on Google). I’ve done some research on the business and have looked up a few competitors, especially www.yousendit.com, www.sharefile.com and www.smartfile.com. The idea is then to provide a simple file sharing solution for businesses: you open an account, and you can upload files and share with people you give access to, for example your customers, partners, suppliers…

All following domain names don’t have a website at the moment, so if you type the URL in your browser you will get a nice error message :-)

A few potential ideas for ecommerce

  • acheteripad.fr: affiliate store to sell Ipads
    That’s a exact match domain for 5400 searches in France (“buy ipad”). I thought about doing an affiliate store: it would be like an ecommerce store but instead of handling the sale myself, I would hand it off to Amazon and get a commission when the visitor ends up buying something. I would have used WordPress with a custom ecommerce theme to power that website. The problem is, I’m not so much passionate about ipads so I don’t know if I could do that in the long term, even though I toyed with the idea of buying an Ipad for some time now :-)
  • samsunggalaxys2.fr
    That’s the same kind of idea as the ipad but for a newer product, the Samsung Galaxy S2. That’s a exact match domain for 20000 searches in France, so there is quite some traffic to get if you get on the top spot of Google. The problem is also the same as with the Ipad project.
  • cartouchedencrepascher.com
    That’s another online store that I could put together about “cheap ink cartridge”. More than 14000 exact match searches, but it looks like quite a crowded market. I guess selling ink cartridges online is a very profitable business!

Software related ideas

  • nomdedomainedisponible.net
    This is again a french website, meaning “available domain name”, with a exact match count of 2900 per month. I was pleased with that idea for a couple of days, since it involved at least a little bit of software, in comparison to the other content-heavy ideas. There’s one strong competitor of this one in France, and I preferred to go for other ideas.
  • calculpretimmobilier.info
    In english it would be “mortgage calculator”, which is heavily searched in France, and the .info was available for something like 2 euros, so even though I had not though much about it, I just bought it and I’ll see what I can do in the future.
  • convertirpdfenword.net
    “Convert PDF to Word”: doesn’t need many explanations, it’s something that would require a little bit of software so it might be more interesting to do than other ideas, but still not really earth-shattering.
  • emailjetable.fr
    “Disposable email” was an available domain name with 5000 exact match count and a potentially interesting tool to make. I stumbled upon the monetization issue. That’s still not that much potential traffic and I wonder how to monetize users that would come to the website only to check an email and leave. There’s a guy on Hacker News who commented that he made a decent revenue out of it for a website in that market(in english though, 10 minute mail) so I might give it a shot at some point.

Exploiting profitable niches

  • assuranceautoenligne.fr
    It’s actually quite amazing that “online car insurance” domain name for France was still available for 3600 exact match searches and an Adwords CPC of more than 10 euros/click! I’ve registered this one recently, “just in case” but if I end up doing it, I would pay people to make articles and doing the backlinking and such, it would just be way too boring to do it myself…
  • demandedecreditenligne.org
    “credit request on line” just seemed like a pretty easy proposition when I registered it, but after trying to rank my first websites i decided it was not worth the hassle to do something as boring as credit requests.

Exploiting current events

  • jo2012.eu
    After reading a post by Viperchill about buidling sites around current events, I did some brainstorming around future events and came up with this one, meaning “olympics games 2012″. OK it’s a .eu extension but it’s still an exact match and there’s going to be a massive amount of traffic regarding next olympic games coming up next year. I haven’t really thought about this one but I guess it would have to be quite content-heavy to be successful.
  • rolandgarros2012.fr
    Also based around the idea that current events attract lots of traffic with low competition, I registered this domain name based on the 2012 french open, that will take place in May 2012. I used to be a moderately competitive tennis player some time ago, so that’s definitely something I’m familiar with.
  • sondagepresidentielle2012.fr : online poll for french elections of 2012
    There are a few online poll websites that seem to work well, and I stumbled onto this domain name doing keyword research. It came up with 6000 searches per month, I registered the domain. There are two problems: how do you overcome bias in an online poll? Indeed, it seems that other online poll websites are an outlet for extreme right-wing sympathisers to express their opinions: on one website, 60% of all votes go for the extreme-right wing candidate. I don’t really want to make the extreme-right wing gain further publicity, that’s one problem. The other problem is how to make money with an online poll website. I guess you could place some amazon affiliate links for books from candidates, but it doesn’t strike me as a potential way of earning decent income…

Another idea

  • commentcreerunsiteinternet.com
    “How to make a website”: this one is pretty sweet, with a 10.000 exact match count, and not too much competition. Plus it’s something I can see myself do, which is definitely a plus! Maybe something I’ll get to do, with tutorials on how to make a website, how to select a hosting provider, how to do the SEO and marketing etc.

Changing my target market from the whole word to my own country

At the beginning, given that I can write half-decent english, I decided to go after the english-speaking market since it’s simply enormous compared to the french-speaking market. However, I’ve changed target at mid-course and have decided to focus on the french market now: the market is much smaller but there is also much less competition. I realized when doing my initial website (giftcertificatefactory) that it was quite hard to market to people I don’t know on a different continent and from another culture, and not speaking their language natively. I think it makes more sense for me, especially given that it’s my first business, to focus on things I know a bit more.

Congrats! You made it until the end. You can follow me on Twitter.

11 Responses to “17 Domain Names I Bought This Year, and What I Intend To Do With It”

  1. Aymeric 27 July 2011 at 4:09 pm Permalink

    I love the disposable email one. You should contact the 10 minute maul guy and ask if he’d sell/rent his code so that you can have something up and running quickly.
    Monetization: some sort of pro accounts?

    File sharing: isn’t this problem solved already?

  2. tommy 27 July 2011 at 4:30 pm Permalink

    Hey Aymeric,

    File sharing: it’s solved in some way since there are companies providing that kind of service, yes. But I think there are ways to improve it. That, and marketing is pretty poor at the moment. If you search in france for “file sharing”, no many relevant results come up (in english market they do though, but I’m thinking specifically about the french market).

    Disposable email: yes that’s something that could be done. Pro account is an idea, but I just don’t see people paying money for it.

  3. Richard 28 July 2011 at 6:56 am Permalink

    Hi Tommy, how do you find out the exact match count for an hypothetical domain name ?

  4. tommy 28 July 2011 at 7:58 am Permalink

    Hi Richard, to find the exact match count, you go to google adwords keyword tool, and you type the keywords in the input box with the right parameters (language, country for example if you target a .fr you should also select France as country). You submit the form, and you get a list of results. To get the exact match count, you have to unselect the “broad” option on the left, and select the “exact” option. There you go. You should look at “global monthly searches” for a global domain name, and “local monthly searches” for a local one (if your domain is .fr for example). But most of the domain names with exact match are taken for more than 2000 searches :-)

  5. Alex 28 July 2011 at 2:39 pm Permalink

    Hi Tommy,

    About the jo2012 website (and anything about Olympics games) you must be very careful about using the names and mark, because Olympics organisation is not very open minded…

    I really like your spirit and your ideas by the way ;)

  6. Richard 1 August 2011 at 4:47 am Permalink

    Found one. 10,000 EMD/month. I’m guessing the idea is too leverage google ads to make $. Do you have any idea how much $$ 10,000 EMD/month can generate ?

  7. tommy 1 August 2011 at 9:03 am Permalink

    haha, EMD .com for 10.000 searches/month? Good one! Concerning $, it depends what kind of keyword it is, but you can look at the CPC to have an estimation how valuable the keyword is (high CPC=valuable). Then it’s also about the competition. If there are 5 very solid and optimized sites ranking for that keyword, it can be hard to compete. but for example:
    CPC $2 – 10000 searches – conversion 5% (this one can vary depending on the niche) -> 10000 x 2 x .05 = $1000/month. (the x2 is to account for all the searches for long-tail keywords and visits from social media, direct traffic etc.)

  8. Vince 19 September 2011 at 7:15 pm Permalink

    For ipad, samsung, rolandgarros and jo2012: can you use these domains? Don’t you have a risk of legal issues?

  9. tommy 28 September 2011 at 9:12 pm Permalink

    Vince, I think it’s okay. There are really a lot of domains that do that.

  10. steve 29 March 2012 at 5:06 pm Permalink

    The file sharing idea is a good one. Its not the market or the edge over your competition that concerns me. Its actually where are these files going to be stored.. you have to have servers with alot of dedicated bandwidth and storage space to make it work.. if i could reccomend something.. make the software so it uses your site to just link to the file they chose that is stored on their network. It will save you alot of overhead

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