My Domain Development Case Studies Are Back

Over the last year the #1 request I’ve received from readers is to bring back my development case studies and so I thought it was time to give the people (you) what you want. However this time you’ll find my case studies different than before as I want to go the extra mile to show you how I think about each business that I build and who I develop and scale these businesses without my own personal involvement. This will most likely also mean bringing in members of my team to talk about what they are doing so you can better understand all sides of a development project.

First let’s talk about the way I look at a development project which as evolved quite a bit over the last five years. First and foremost, I’m not looking for a way to make an additional $100-$200/month, nor am I looking for something that involves my involvement on a daily or even weekly basis. I am looking to make an investment and through that investment build a real business and brand that continues to generate income for years to come. I don’t want to spend any time writing code or content, designing logos, or doing SEO, I have great people that do all of that. I do want to fund a development project and drive the business strategically which will be the focus of these case studies.

Also, to show you the opportunity that we all have I decided to start with a completely fresh and new domain so that I don’t start with any particular advantage over any other Domainer out there. With that I’d like to share with you the domain I have decided to start with, market I am going after and way in which I am dividing up my investment in the project.


Domain Name:

For those who read my post yesterday about SuRi you know that I was very inspired by this boat and the fact that there are many more like it available for rent anywhere from $50,000/week and up. I like markets like this where you can make a few sales and make good money vs. markets where you have to make a lot of sales to make good money. My role in this project will be negotiating the deals with Yacht Charter and Rental companies with a goal of making 5% per referred rental. That means if I could get a boat like SuRi rented for even one week a year that would yield $7,500.

The first thing to realize is that these projects take time and I don’t expect to turn a profit until 8-12 months from now. The first step is building the site, creating the social media accounts, adding lots of good fresh content, and then getting some buzz going in the space so that there are good articles written about the brand on related blogs and online magazines.

You may be wondering why I’m not going with a .COM here and the answer is simple, I’m not looking for a big domain sale out of this, I’m looking to build a brand over a one year time period. At the end of the day if I decide to sell this years from now it will be for a multiple of the revenue. When I buy domains to flip I stick with .COM and .COM only, when it comes to development I’m not as picky and I like .CO a lot.

Project Budget: $5,000

I will be investing $5,000 into this project with the understanding that this will be a sunk cost for the first 8-12 months and then expecting a profit of $2,000+ on the first sale. From this point I would like to see the site make $10,000 – $20,000 in its second year and $25,000+ every year going forward. Here is how I will be spending the money:

Website Development: $1,500
Content Creation: $1,000
Social Media: $1,000
PR/Marketing/SEO: $1,000
Logo Design: $500

Of my own time I plan to invest 5-10 hours total negotiating our initial deal but this will probably take place 4-6 months from now once the site has been built. It’s important for me to be able to show someone the finished product and let them understand how we will be presenting their yacht before trying to sell them. In the end I plan on negotiating one and only one exclusive deal with a single yacht charter company and focusing on listing between 40-60 yachts for rental.

I look forward to taking all of you along for the adventure and as always welcome your questions, comments, and feedback along the way. You won’t be able to see the design realtime as it is currently being staged on ZippyKid but I will be sharing screenshots so you can see the progress as we move forward. Stay tuned, more to come!

(Photo Credit)

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton