I was looking for a post I thought I already wrote announcing our plans for 2013 and Las Vegas and stumbled on this little gem that I wrote back on February 20th but decided not to post at that time. I have a number of posts that I write and never publish or wait until the right time. This is one of them. This is basically Part 2 of a story I started telling here.
I was constrained by the times and my own knowledge. But my mission was to build a $1MM revenue engine that would act as an oil well and be able to pump for my lifetime and beyond that annual minimum. In 1996 I learned about the Internet. It was a period that started in December of 1995 and did not truly blossom until the spring and summer of 1997.
Like I said....it was a learning process and I was not that computer savvy. I remember getting online with Compuserve back in the mid 1980's. I still shake when I think of those days. I was lost. Lost and in a dark place with few other people and was clueless on where I was or where I was going. I think it was 'Prodigy' by Sears that started illuminating things. I am not sure but I think that was about 1988?? 1987?
But by the summer of 1997 I started seeing things differently and started buying domains form 3rd parties. So I made a list of my top 10 purchases. Biggest bang for the buck. All I can say is I followed the money. I followed that path. I saw what sector was doing well and adult not only was doing well they were YEARS ahead on what they had discovered. Mainstream is still catching up with what the Adult Market discovered in 1996-1999. Those adult guys from that time have expanded into mainstream. I can verify that mainstream is just beginning to learn the lessons that we learned back then.
#1. It's no secret that the purchase of Porno.com was what I call 'The shot heard around the world.' It was unheard of at that time to buy a domain for that much money. Most techies scoffed at the $100 price tag let alone $42,000. But they were techies and the business people had yet to arrive for the most part. I have never had a bona fide offer for Porno.com even tho it has generated well in excess of $15 million as a redirect or a parked page.
But Porno.com was not my first purchase. I had to build up to that and even in that moment I could only come up with about $15,000 cash. So a creative financing deal was used where I paid $15,000 up front and 9 monthly payments. But within the first 6 weeks I paid it off just on the earnings back then. Details of the deal are here.
So that is in August 1997. If my memory serves correctly it was about 3 months earlier that I landed my first 'Drop' which was unheard of at that time. But somebody emailed me and told me to register Dick.com the next day as it woud be available. And so it was. May 1997. Dick.com. $100. Plugged it in and there was traffic and I was earning $200/day for my $100 investment. EUREKA!!! The MOMENT!! I already knew there was type in traffic, but not to that degree.
I did have one MAJOR type in domain before that. Two word very adult domain that was getting 5000 visitors a day and making $500 a day. That was at a time NOBODY beleived me about type in domains. They did not understand where the traffic would come from. They could not accuse me of sending them bad traffic because they had the sales that verified the traffic was real but they could not see where it came from. They still can't in may cases! So a 7 letter domain, Starting with 'Hot' and referring to some female anatomy that is 4 letters was the one that illuminated the path the most and the earliest and led me to everything else.
#2. During that summer of 1997, before Porno.com I started with the Ass.com purchase that I described many times. This was early July if I remember correctly. $12,500 and had to send the funds to Germany with no recourse. I did not sleep for 3 days. I could not afford a loss like that back then. It would have been a crippling blow if it went south. I was still growing my real world business and buying inventory many months before I needed it or got it. So the disruption in cash flow would have been a very tough setback.
#3 Men.com purchased for $15,000 also in August of 1997. I knew things were time sensitive and I wrapped up the deals as fast as possible. By the time I bought Horny.com a few months later, I bought it at $20,000 and by the time I hung up the phone and got to the bank National A-1 wanted it and upped the ante. I paid $40,000 as the price doubled within minutes and with a threat of a lawsuit on one end and $40,000 cash in his account on the other, he chose the $$$ that were already there. While Horny.com was a great purchase and has made 10x the purchase price so far, it does not make this list, but the story does.
I sold Men.com to an investment group led by Kevin Leto in 2003 for $1.32MM and finally demostrated that domains would go up faster in value than any other commodity in history. That sale ignited the domain space at a very low point, gave me some cash to buy more real estate and gave me the credibility to help create TRAFFIC.
#4 Sexo.com. Sex in Spanish. Next to Porno.com, Sexo.com is my #2 earner. With a cost of $10,000, Sexo.com has earned nearly $2 Million.
#5 Booty.com. One of my very best bargains. Paid $1000 for it and has earned that in as little as 5 days or as much as 30 days. I estimate total earnings approaching $1 Million.
#6 xxxvideos.com. Another bargain with a cost of $920 with similar earnings about 50% of Booty.com but since the release of .xxx, income has doubled.
#7 Whores.com for $1000. Another huge bargain that produces steady income.Approx $350,000 in earnings so far.
#8 Queen.com for $2500. Just a great domain that I bought early on from one of the top domainers in the world. Used mostly as adult. Lifetime earnings about $150,000.
#9 Stud.com for $1000. Not only another 6 figure earner, but could be an interesting play someday.
Then I turned the corner and started to head to mainstream. I had been hand registerering mainstream domains since Day #1 even tho there was no commercial mainstream. Dell.com was the #1 site in terms of sales back then. Very early adapters usually connected with the computer business which was pretty well established at that point. But now I was branching off and started taking the dollars I was making and putting it in a diverserve direction. That brings me to #10
#10. Widgets.com $5000. This is before there were Internet Widgets. This was when a 'Widget' was just a generic item you sell. So Internet Widgets became a very welcome surprise. It was not planned. It was just 'Stepping in Shit.' The beauty of a domain like this is that it is so universal. Time will tell where this baby goes.
I targeted the 7 dirty words you could not say on TV at first. 'Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits. And as Carlin would say.....'Tits did not belong on the list because it was such a friendly sounding word.' But those were either taken or not allowed to be registerd at that time. So I set my sights on the ones you could say but were right on the line. They say these words all night long during prime time. 'Horny, ass, bitch, slut, whore, orgy, booty and as few others. I went out and got them all. All registered to 3rd parties. All the defining line on what you can and can't say on broadcast TV. Why? Because Sex Sells!! Nipples sell. Ass sells. 'Leave it to Beaver' was a wonderful show. But Sex in the City sells more things and has more value. I was able to parlay ALL of my earnings back into domain names.
My very best buy may be my $62 purchase of Cheapest.com. A domain I would not even consider letting go for under 7 figures and a few points. See there can only be ONE that is truly the Cheapest! So I don't buy to sell like many do. I buy to watch an asset increse in value to where MY value is. I wait until the fruit matures. Yes, I am sure I could have sold that domain for DOUBLE! Whoopppeee!!! Domaining is much more than that. It is about KNOWING the value. That is why I compare it to diamonds all the time. Many look the same, but there is a huge difference in them when you examine them and see their depth and potential.
By this time there were others starting to follow what I was doing and some would emulate and even compete with me. So things became more urgent and I tried to get as many as I could as fast as I could as a lone wolf. About 10 days ago I hand registered a domain name having to do with a certain sector I saw that could become something. I grabbed a couple. Then this week Google announces their new Glasses which just happened to be the sector I targeted but froma different angle.
The Media dubs them 'Smart Glasses. Of course the first thing I do is try and register SmartGlasses.com. But it was already registered. But luckily there was a BUY IT NOW PRICE and so I popped that baby in the cart and for $3280 I have a possible category killer domain. We'll see. I see it as a great gamble. Maybe, maybe not. But everyone reading this had the same shot. It takes 3 things. Decision, action, risk. The last thing on my mind is selling it. The first thing is to measure traffic and study that traffic. Beleive me, there is traffic. How do I know? I have a better question, why do so many domainers not know??
While I would love to add another $1 Million domain to my portfolio, I would rather grow them nyself. I like $1 Million domains disgusied with a low price or $100,000 ones for pocket change. I added DailyRentals.com in December. A whopping $400. An instant full time business IF that was my calling in life. DomainShane listed that one on his drop list. I don't know if there is a contribution requirement, but I would gladly send him a $100 finders fee.
In 1997 I would pay folks $50 bounty on the YNOT board if they sent me a domain that was available and I registered. On Ynot I used the theme and changed the words from 'Kung Fu Fighting' to 'Everybody was domaining hunting' Those hands were fast as lightning' and went on there for about 4 verses. Did that on some Saturday Nights and would get 10-20 domains that would make money the next day. They all thought I was crazy to spend $100 a pop AND give a finders fee.
I Hand registered 38 more domains since December. (As of February 20th) Not to sell. To study and understand. Most I will drop next year. Not sell. Drop. I buy on a hunch. On something new. On a phrase. They are all longshots. But long shots pay big when you hit. Linsanity.com, Tebowing.com and alike. Not mine. But demonstrates what I do. Predict Human Behavior. Predict how the masses will react. Predict how a group will react given the circumstances of life.
In January 1998 I sold all my traffic to Dean Shannon for a little over $1.5 Million a year. I sold my real world business for 7 figures in March. I had nothing to do. I retired. I just wanted to go out and have a nice lunch every day because the last 10 years I could not do that a single time. My home based business kept me home from the first calls in the morning until UPS showed up at 6PM or so to pickup our shipments for the day. Cell phones and call forwarding eventually helped to liberate me. But retirement was removing all those time constrainst and I now owned my entire 24 hours every day of the week.
Retirement was a full time job and I had no interest in working again. Life and work and investing would all take a back seat to being retired and it remains that way to this very day. That did not mean I don't do things. It is just about priorities. Work revolves around my life instead of my life revolving around work.
I goofed off for about 90 days and decided to do it again in my spare time. I just repeated what I had done from 1995-1998. By the summer of 1999 I had duplicated that revenue stream. I did that one more time in 2000-2002. I just wanted to fortify what I was doing so that no mater how bad things got my little empire could survive and do 7 figures a year in the most adverse times. A financial 'Ark' is probably the best way to describe it. I knew the net would go bust and it would likely happen more than once.
The little deals allowed me to do some big deals. And as I have said many times before, 'Sometimes doing nothing can get you further than doing something'
Now what I am trying to do is recreate that revenue stream by being a silent partner in the deals I do. I don't know how long that will take. But it is accelerating and I think before the 20 year anniversary I will have accomplished that mission as well. I think the biggest plus for me is giving my missions enough time to find success. I never try and rush it. I know when to go full out and when to let things evolve in their own way. You can't force time. That just comes back to patience. I define a timeline beforehand of how long something should take me to achieve. I know pretty quick if a mission has 'Legs' or not. I adjust as things move along and if things don't move along, I never kid myself into bending reality.
Have a GREAT Day!