websitehosting.com – SOLD!

If you’ve been following my blog at all then you probably know I purchased websitehosting.com on 1/28/11 for $190,000. Then, shortly after I purchased the domain I wrote a detailed post about why I bought this particular domain and followed up with a series of posts about how to build an affiliate website.

About The Sale

Shortly after I purchased websitehosting.com I received an offer of $250,000 for the domain. It reassured me that my analysis for this domain was dead on, but since I’m not really in the business of flipping domain names I turned it down. Then, about 2 weeks ago I was contacted by another guy looking to pickup this domain name; his offer was for $300,000. I had done a significant amount of work since the $250,000 offer, so I turned this down too.

Since I now had two strong offers in hand, I felt like it was time to decide what I would sell the site for. I don’t get possessive about projects I work on and I like to make sound business decisions. To that end, everything must have its price. So, I spent a couple hours figuring out what the right price would be; I came up with $415,000.

Once I came up with my price of $415,000 I communicated that to the guy who made the $300,000 offer. He responded with a counter offer of $401,000 within a couple hours, but I held my ground. For those of you who know me, you know how stubborn I can be. To be fair, I could have come back to this guy with a much higher number, or just said “you need to make a higher offer”. I’m convinced that would have yielded me more money, but I also like being straightforward with people. I’ve been buying a lot of domain names lately and I get really frustrated with the process. People often won’t be straight with me and it makes it very hard to negotiate. Since I don’t like to do to others what I don’t like done to myself, I decided to just be straight with this guy. It was $415,000 or I wasn’t going to sell. Anyway, long story short, he accepted.

Escrow.com

We used escrow.com to close the transaction and I agreed to split the fees (pretty typical). For those of you who aren’t familiar with escrow.com, they are the de-facto escrow service to trade domain names. It protects both parties and it’s a service I’ve used numerous times over the past few months. The way the process works is the buyer sends the money to escrow.com, then the seller is notified the funds have arrived. Once that happens the seller transfers the domain name. Once they buyer accepts the transfer, the money is released by escrow.com and you’re done. The closing statement for this transaction is below with the buyers name blocked out to protect his privacy.

WebsiteHosting.com Closing Statement

WebsiteHosting.com Closing Statement

What’s Next

Selling this website doesn’t really change my plans much. I’ve been working hard on my WordPress theme sites and I have a really good idea about how to leverage that concept more. I’ll be launching a new site in the WordPress theme space in late July / early August and I’m pretty sure it will be a game-changer. Of course I’ll be talking about that project at length as it gets closer to launch time.

I also launched a new RV park directory site at www.rvparks.org a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t posted about that here yet because the site isn’t fully populated with data yet, but I will make a detailed post about that in the next few weeks.

Finally, I’ve been quietly purchasing other quality keyword domains. I’m really excited about a couple of them and intend to make a post about all of them on this blog over time. I’ve been holding back making posts about them because I’m trying to buy several domains in the same vertical and I don’t want to expose myself to competition.

Since websitehosting.com is now gone, I’ll need to start another series on How To Build An Affiliate Website. Two of the keyword domains I recently purchased are a good candidate for this. Over the next few weeks you’ll see part one of this new series.

37 Comments

  1. WTG on that sale!

    Doubling your money in 4 months sounds like a great deal.

    Reply
  2. Michael, As a competitor in the web hosting affiliate space, I’m so relieved you’ve sold your site. You’re a powerhouse marketer, and I’ve picked up tips from following your blog. I’m just glad I no longer have to directly compete with you. Unless, of course, you start another site in a vertical I’m in. Please don’t do that. LOL. Who knows, maybe we’ll even partner on something in the future. Best of luck – and keep writing your blog – Mike

    Reply
    • By far and away the best comment I’ve ever gotten on this blog (and the most flattering). Thank you very much.

      Reply
  3. Very impressive. It takes balls of steel to purchase webhosting.com for the original price when you could have easily bought a small house instead.Flipping it was a great move as I’m sure it was a long term investment that would take years to break even(perhaps I’m wrong). This gives you cash to make more investments and bank some also.

    Reply
    • Thanks DMan. I actually was expecting to make my money back on the site easily by this time next year. The site was already starting to climb in the rankings and I had a new design in the pipeline that I’m convinced would have made a big difference. Either way, I’m happy with the sales price and will just move on.

      Reply
  4. Congratulations on the sale Michael – although, I must admit, I’m a little sad, because I had been reading your How To Build An Affiliate Website series, and I was anxiously (well, that’s maybe a little strong :)) waiting for your next posts. Nonetheless, I’m sure your new series will be just as informative.

    Reply
    • Thanks Charles. I was looking forward to writing the next post just as much as you were looking forward to reading it. The next post was going to cover a new design I made for the site and a new Google algorithm change. I sold the new design along with the site, but I might still write the post anyway once it’s live.

      Reply
  5. Hey Mike, good stuff man. A few questions, how do you go about buying already registered domains? Is it as simple as emailing the registrant and making an offer? What’s the general rule in valuing at domain? Seeing you double your money in 5 months has made my eyes and ears perk up a little bit. :)

    Reply
  6. Very good, congrats.

    Reply
  7. Congratulations on the sale, Michael! It’s tough to come up with a price for something you worked hard on, but you did and I think that sort of turnaround is worth it. As good as that name is, there are other quality hosting out there (I recently saw Hosting.net for sale for low 6-figures FYI).

    I take it you’re primarily a developer vs. a domainer investor or reseller?

    Reply
    • Thanks Steve. I saw hosting.net out there too, but I’m not a big fan of the .net domain names. It has almost 0 chance to rank #1 for “hosting”, as opposed to websitehosting.com which I could have gotten to #1 for “website hosting”.

      I would say I’m a combination developer, affiliate marketer, investor, and now reseller. Basically, I do my best to fit the situation.

      Reply
  8. Hi Michael,

    Congrats! Do you design your sites yourself or do you outsource the design work!

    Thanks,
    Adi

    Reply
    • I outsource the work, but I have a great designer that I love. I also use 99 Designs.

      Reply
  9. Congrats on the sale.

    Reply
  10. Mikey,

    You know how much I respcet your input, thoughts ideas and friendship, and always knew how intelligent and savvy you were in the gambling industry, but think i now know how much you should be respected in any area you touch.

    What an impressive way to end the webhosting story with a huge double up in not even 6 months time.

    I look forward to continuing to read here and send me an email so we can catch up via the phone soon mate!!!

    Only words to say are IMPRESSIVE!

    Warm Regards

    Colin

    Reply
    • Thanks very much Colin. I’m traveling via RV right now, but we should catch up when I get back!!!

      Reply
  11. Very good eye, great sale. Congratulations! One of the bigger short term domain flips I’ve seen so far.
    Also great to see some ‘public’ action in the six figure range again, most of it happens silently in the background. :)

    Best,
    Tim Schoon
    PEJ Brokerage

    Reply
  12. WOW Great Sale Michael Jackness go ahead :D
    hope i will make one sale like you :D

    Thanks,
    Ahmed

    Reply
  13. That’s a great return. I wonder what the guy who sold it to you for $190k is thinking!

    Reply
    • I know what you are saying, but I don’t think the old owner is that upset. I’m not trying to sound cocky, but the old owner couldn’t have done what I did. It was a combination of several different factors that increased the value of the domain. Someone who is just a domainer doesn’t have these skills as it’s not their core business.

      Reply
  14. very good i hope to you the best

    offtopic: i spend like 15 hours infront of my pc and i dnt make 1$ lol

    Reply
  15. Way to go Michael!

    I sincerely believe that you are one of the most devoted and successful entrepreneurs that exist online! I really like the way you document each step. You are an inspiration for all of us.

    I would like to ask if you had managed to build a commission stream before selling websitehosting.com. Have you managed to earn something as an affiliate through the corresponding site?

    Reply
  16. Congrats, Mike! (I just stumbled across this.)

    Reply
  17. Hi Michael,
    I noticed that webhosting.com is now used as a redirect. does this kill the seo value of the domain as all they have is typein traffic ?

    Reply
    • I’m not sure what you mean… I see websitehosting.com still up and going to websitehosting.com…

      Reply
  18. Just heard about you for the first time, I’m sorry, awesome sale!

    I’d love to connect sometime, plenty of great names that I own, I’m sure we have similar interests in regards to domain investing and general development.

    You’ve got my email, as time permits, I’m here.

    Reply
  19. Great sale, very inspiring! Also interested in George’s question, did you manage to create a revenue stream before the quick sale?

    Reply
    • Luuk,

      To answer your question… the site had very little revenue at the time of the sale. It wasn’t zero, but it wasn’t a sale based off earnings either. The site was just starting to hit the first page for a few searches and was a strong keyword domain. That was the appeal to the buyer.

      Mike

      Reply
  20. Extremely Inspiring story Man! i’ll try to do the same with mine. I’m the owner of http://www.SiteHost.com by the way… :))

    Reply

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