My Latest Purchase – onlinestorage.com

Fresh off the heels of my websitehosting.com sale, I picked up another keyword domain – onlinestorage.com. The online backup / storage industry is red hot right now and I’ve been looking for a domain in this space for a couple of months. All the details of my research and thought processes are below.

What’s Out There?

When it comes to online backup or online storage there aren’t a lot of options out there. When evaluating domains I like to find something that gets at least 5,000 exact local searches per month to even consider it. This basically left the following domains:

backup.com – 110,000 searches – This domain is owned by Symantec and is obviously not for sale.

onlinebackup.com- 74,000 searches – This domain forwards to Iron Mountain and is obviously not for sale.

backupsoftware – 40,500 searches – EMC Owns this domain and is obviously not for sale.

backuponline.com – 9,900 searches – The guy who owns this domain doesn’t want to sell it (he is currently developing the site). I made him a very serious six figure offer, but he wouldn’t budge. Fair enough.

databackup.com – 8,100 searches – This guy wanted $1,000,000 for this domain – literally. Someday I’ll write a blog post about this alone, but now is not the appropriate time. Lets just say these guys are really really clueless (in just so many ways) and leave it at that.

NOTE: If you’re looking to get into the online affiliate marketing / SEO game, but don’t have a big budget, there are some other quality long tail keyword domains available in this space. These are all names I considered, but they fall below the 5,000 searches I like to see. This doesn’t mean that you can’t make good money with these domains. I just like to go after the big kills. Anyway, here are some names that are out there: offsitebackup.com, remotebackup.com, onlinebackupservices.com, and computerbackup.com just to name a few.

OnlineStorage.com

So with all the domains above off the table, this brings us to onlinestorage.com. It was literally the only domain in the space that gets more than 5,000 exact searches and was realistically available. It isn’t the homerun that onlinebackup.com would have been, but “online storage” does get searched a respectable 40,500 times per month. On top of that, the CPCs for “Online Storage” are $21.79 – totally sick! The affiliate programs are mostly inline with this too. There are several competitive affiliate programs in this space, many of which pay recurring revenue. To me recurring revenue is the holy mecca of the affiliate world since you can build a nice revenue stream and not have to worry about starting each month with a big fat goose egg.

I think this is another great domain name that will get a lot of attention. This is a pretty competitive affiliate space and it’s also competitive on the vendor side too. Someone is surely going to want to purchase this site in the months to come. If not, my projections for the site aren’t too bad either. With 40,500 searches and the CPAs we are looking at in this industry, I should have no problem clearing 5 figures a months with this site.

Appraised Value

When it comes to getting a domain appraised it’s really hard to come up with a realistic value since everything is so subjective. So, I use a combination of 3 factors to come up with a value.

  1. I look at estibot.com. Now, before anyone laughs at me, I just use this as a point of reference. I never take a free appraisal service like this seriously. However, they use a formula of traffic x CPC that can be useful at times. Estibot has this domain valued at $55,000.
  2. I order an appraisal from a trusted manual domain appraisal service. I finally found someone I like, but again I don’t take this as gospel either. I just think it’s an important reality check number before spending mid five figures. This service appraised onlinestorage.com at $73,000
  3. I have several metrics that I use to evaluate the domain. This way I can be assured that even if I’m overpaying for the domain I can still make money with it. Once I reach number 1 for this domain, I figure my payback period for the domain to be less than 2 months. Since this space is less competitive than others I’ve looked at, I feel like I can have my money back in under one year.

What Did I Pay

I was able to pick this domain up for $40,000, which is $15,000 less than Estibot.com and $33,000 less than the appraisal service. To say the least, I think I got a really good deal on this domain and I’m happy with my purchase!

What’s Next

I’ve already purchased several other keyword domains, but I’m not ready to disclose those here yet. There are still several other domains in the verticals I’m looking at, so I will post about those once I’ve completed my research. I also need to continue my series on How To Build An Affiliate Website – this domain might be a good candidate for that.

In the mean time, my first objective is to get good quality content up on the site. I’ll be posting one article per day on Online Storage. If you’ve been reading this blog at all you know how much weight I put into content – this site is no different.

19 Comments

  1. Hey Mike,

    Good luck with the new domain. What makes you say that a site like “onlinebackup.com” owned by Iron Mountain is obviously not for sale?

    Cole

    Reply
  2. Nice! Makes me feel good about my USBBackup.com domain purchase a couple of months ago.

    I’m looking forward to your future blogs re: the development and monetization of the site!

    Reply
    • Yeah that’s a decent pickup for sure. You should keep posting more content to that site and it will start to rank even higher.

      Reply
  3. Very nice pickup once again – I’ve got to get better at finding profitable niches like this – I seem to be stuck in the gambling mindset – Maybe I’m not thinking big enough – Thankfully Black Friday didn’t bankrupt our business, but at this point I’d feel much more secure if I had a good non-gaming project to sink my teeth into.

    Maybe you can post (or email me) with some tips on finding some decent niches? Would really appreciate it

    Good luck with it, and congrats on the Webhosting sale, awesome stuff and very motivating.

    Randy

    Reply
    • Randy,

      Thanks for the congrats on websitehosing.com. Hopefully all of them will work out this well.

      In regards to other niches, that’s something I’m going to have to hold close to the vest. I’ve been pretty open on this blog; at the risk of giving away all my secrets I have to stop somewhere. Many of the niches I’m targeting are in spaces I’m also looking to pick names up in. I hope you can appreciate why that would be counterproductive?

      Mike

      Reply
  4. Smart flip and nice pick up :)

    I found LiveDrive.com offers a solid $110 + CPA.

    For the key players outlined in your site, I couldn’t find comparable CPA deals. Is a biz where you can negotiate flat fee deals ?

    It seems most of it is rev-share yielding very low income on a per customer per month basis, but maybe it’s best in the long term.

    I’m interested to see how you approach monetization. I’d be inclined to go on CPA for anything but a high traffic site like yours, after which it’s tricker to decide imo.

    Good luck

    Seb

    Reply
    • We are still doing all the research for our affiliate partners, but I will most likely go with rev share deals that continue to month after month. It’s the best way to build up a good reoccurring revenue.

      Reply
  5. Awesome Mike, can’t wait to see how the new site goes. Loved the last series about the hosting site and congrats on making a great sale!

    Reply
    • Thanks Ian. I’m looking forward to writing about it once we get rocking and rolling.

      Reply
  6. Thanks for sharing the news with us. I would have thought that after your recent success you would have taken a extra long holiday but your right back in. No stopping you :)

    Reply
    • Well, I have been on a nice long RV trip, but we’re about to wrap that up to get into several other domains. I’ll have some pretty neat announcements soon.

      Reply
  7. Awesome sale and acquisition! When you first launch a site like this, it seems you go straight for adding content. Do you mind sharing where you hire the writers from and about how much you typically like to pay per article?

    Reply
    • I’ve been behind at replying to comments, sorry about that. I use a company called wordsyouwant.com to write some of my content, but the other writers come from various other sources. I typically pay $10 – $25 per article.

      Reply
  8. Nice purchase!

    The number of Online storage companies is increasing and sooner than later, they need to sharpen their online strategies as well. That is when your names count.

    Good luck!

    Reply
    • Thanks Sai. I’m excited about this purchase and think we will do well with it.

      Reply
  9. Hi, first congratulations for the excellent sale.
    I am very interested in what you think of the keyword domains with dashes(-) or without them? Do they have the same potential? I see you are mostly buying domains without dashes. Any particular reason for this?
    example: onlinestorage.com vs online-storage.com

    I was reading a couple of your articles on onlinestorage.com and I see you are linking quite a lot to recognized sites (wiki, microsoft,apple,..). I know that readers are the first priority, but how about SEO, passing PR, etc… Do you think that google likes and gives more credit to articles that link to recognized sites?
    I look forward to your reply, as your projects and strategies can only be a model for us beginners :)

    Reply
    • Sorry, I’m a bit behind replying to comments.

      I think there is very little value to domains with dashes in them, or numbers in them. So, to me, online-storage.com or onlinestorage1.com has very little value. The reason is that Google finds these types of domains spammy.

      Google is built on a network of links and doesn’t like when sites have no links – this seems unnatural. Linking out to other good sites can actually help you, not hurt you.

      Best of luck with your projects.

      Reply
  10. Nice purchase, I don’t think a straight hyphenated names is found spammy. Names that have three or four hyphens are when it gets out of hand and looks spammy imo.

    Like the tip on linking out.

    Reply

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