A trip down memory lane

In 1996 I started to go to chatboards to see if any other
people or industries had discovered the power of a domain name. I would make a
post about who I was and what I have been doing and what I discovered. Usually
they would just delete my post. I even used my real name. Wasn't good enough.
Why would they listen to a moron paying $100 for a domain name that was free
just a year or two ago or less and they did not want them when they were free.
They would say we have we don't need anything else. When I asked
them how they would advertise that on Radio or TV.....that challenge was too
much for them to overcome and they would ban me and delete all my posts at that

The ONLY place I found ANYONE receptive was in the adult
industry. They thought I was full of shit too. I remember before I ever got my
first BIG check. I actually thought my calculator was broken. While EVERYONE
else was talking about making 1/10 of ONE PENNY per visitor, I was making 10
cents per visitor. 25 cents per visitor. I REALLY thought I must be doing
something wrong. Then the check showed up. HOLY SHIT!!!!! I was doing nothing
wrong I was doing it quite right. Most did not even believe me. They thought I
was making it up. Sergeandfmandme_2


Then in 1997 they plugged in some of my domain names and saw
conversions the likes of which they had NEVER seen before. I then went on to buy domains like porno.com, men.com, ass.com, sexo.com, voyeur.com and many many more. The total combined cost for those 5 domains back then was $94,000 in 5 separate transactions.

In those days the average traffic would take 10,000 visitors
to produce one subscription. (Sign up). The really good traffic would produce at
a rate of 1 in 1500. The really really good stuff was 1 in 800. They thought
that was the very best conversions. Until I showed them 1 in 50. So that got
the attention of some folks and it gave me a forum (Ynot) to talk about the
power of domain names without fear those posts would get deleted. I even found
an early ally in Joe Holler who was respected in that community and if not for
him I would have had the same fate I had everywhere else.


In 1999 I got the code from the guys at Ynot to start my own
domain board and by May 18th of the next year I finally decided it was time and
the board went online with the following post:

'Welcome to one of the first domain chatboards on the net. I
will be posting pertinent news about domain names and how we are all being
affected by new rulings every day of the week.
Alone it is a tough
mountain to climb. With a little support of others facing the same issues can
only help. Use this board to your advantage and not a place to piss with each
Good luck to us!'


Nobody showed up for 10 days. Then there was another post.
Then a few days later another. Within 30 days a conversation was going on and
the rest is history. By that time I had already assembled about 75% of my
current portfolio. Today I am thrilled that I have been joined with so many
other voices that have recognized domains as the real estate of this new century
and the fuel that powers the net. The multiple facets that makes domains so
valuable and increasing by the day.
Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

7 thoughts on “A trip down memory lane

  1. lawrence

    rick, what were you doing to achieve above-average conversation rates?
    you don’t say.
    maybe those conversation rates, high, are for your adult names(they do say sex is big)
    as opposed to conversation rates for ‘normal’ single word domains.
    RS….Lawrence. This was with adult. However in mainstream, I have had even better success. I have a domain that pre-collapse had a 1 in 5 closing ratio. So those that believe you need thosands of visitors to make a sale most likely have shitty mousetraps. I can’t tell you how many sites BLOW their sales. Don’t know how to close a visitor on their site. They just WASTE the visitors and don’t even take it seriously. I can increase the bottom line of any website by 10%-15% in 15 minutes because the mistakes they make are easy to point out but nobody ever took the time to look for them. To me they are like big bright red lights.

  2. Sahar Sarid

    I’m still amazed, after all these years knowing you and reading your stuff, that there’s so much I’m still learning from you.
    I know I’ve said it a thousands time but what’s one more.. THANKS ! :)

  3. John DeMayo

    I remember 1997 – 1999 and your words well Rick. And while I (of course) wish I had done more back then, I did enough to get myself started on a great path and put some quality names in my portfolio early.
    Still not selling fakeid.com? LOL.

  4. Ron James

    From an Internet outcast to the voice of a new industry. I’d say you’ve done pretty well for yourself, Rick. What an amazing ride it must have been.
    Thanks for sharing a little history with us.

  5. Kevin

    Although I knew of you Rick, had it not been for a simple post you made one day on YNOT looking for a web developer that I replied to, we wouldn’t have met when we did, nor end up putting together one of the first history making million dollar domain deals.
    That’s one of those things in life that freezes your mind for a second, and makes you say Wow. You realize how often some of the most important people come into your life out of nowhere, and end up being pivotal to steering your endeavors to a specific new direction and path, connect with you because of a simple particular moment where you are both in the same place at the same time and destined to meet.
    What if you hadn’t made that post on YNOT that day? What if I hadn’t read it? I was just a web site entrepreneur back then, but not yet a Domainer, not yet seeing the immense potential of virtual real estate. Doing business with you changed my entire focus, from building web sites to acquiring”raw Web land” as you took the time in our first meeting to share your vast insight about domains and how incredibly valuable digital real estate was about to become.
    I remember leaving our first meeting so excited about domain investing, I was literally feeling like a pioneer miner who had just discovered the biggest goldmine in history. I actually had to pull my SUV over because I couldn’t even focus on driving with so many domain ideas galloping in my mind.
    So if it hadn’t been for one little post on a Forum, that led to a meeting with the top and most inspiring domainer on the planet, that then led to me shifting my entire business and entrepreneuring focus to domain investing 24/7, I would not be where I am today.
    That is so mind boggling. Wow! Thanks a Millions!!!

  6. mindwrecker

    Dear Mr. Rick,
    When you say 1 in 5 conversion rates, are you talking about visitors purely clicking on ads or are they actually signing up for something (PPC or CPA)?
    Also, you say”pre collapse”, im assuming you mean the .com bubble?
    That is an impressive rate…

  7. mindwrecker

    Actually forget my last post, I just went back and read all of April, anyone who is smart will take the time to read through this blog and not just look at the current months, thank you Rick for this blog!!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *