I want to share a short story about how I took a hand registered domain and a concept and turned it into a business model that is beginning to show some solid growth and profit. I think this may give some people some fresh ideas on how to monetize hand registered domain names instead of feeling like you can't develop a successful site without using an expensive domain name.
First, I had the concept. It is not a new concept but I applied it in a way I had not seen done before. This is something that a lot of people don't think about but you really should. Take a concept, twist it to become unique, and be the first to market with it. So what did I do?
With a bad economy there are a lot of people who aren't paying for things that they may have in the past. The area I wanted to attack, ebooks. People sell ebooks online for $5, others for $25, some for $50, and I've even seen ebooks with a price tag of $500. Pretty insane. I've seen a lot of interesting ebooks online that I would read if someone handed me a free copy, but I'm not going to drop big bucks on an ebook (that's just me). So the concept I came up with is letting authors give away their ebooks for free in return for something, specifically the visitor must complete a survey first (which will generate revenue for the ebook author through a commission) and then the visitor gets a copy of the ebook for free. This is a win/win concept and helps both people which is why I was really pumped with the idea hit me and I had to develop something.
I created the site Ebooked.org. I hand registered this domain name after I knew the concept of what I wanted to offer. To me, there is no SEO difference in value between a .com and a .org and since I was buying a domain for development and not resale I had no issues picking up a .org.
Ebook authors can create a free account on Ebooked, then they upload their ebook(s), and then the magic happens... they earn PASSIVE revenue for the next 50 years (in theory) from spending 3 minutes of their time. What is there not to love about this? I wanted to make the site as simple and straightforward as possible and based on the feedback I've received I think I've accomplished this. As a web developer, there is nothing worse in my opinion then taking a simple concept and turning it into a complicated non-user friendly site, it's just bad business.
In a few months the site has grown to include over 300 registered ebook authors and almost 1,900 ebooks listed. Not too shabby considering I've spent $0 marketing the site.
How do I make money off the site?
1. There are two Adsense spots on the site which are mine.
2. I share revenue with the ebook authors. Out of every 5 people who click on the "Download" link for their ebook, 4 of those visitors will be shown a survey that would give commission to the ebook author while 1 of those visitors would be shown a survey that would generate commission for me. It is a generous offer for the ebook authors since my site is generating free traffic for them to their ebook.
I could go on and on talking about Ebooked but my point here is to share a development concept and maybe get some ideas flowing in your head. You can check out the site yourself if you'd like and if you want to get some free ebooks or if you want to make some passive income then feel free. Now stop buying domains and letting then sit untouched and get out there and try your own development project!