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As promised, I thought I’d share how I sold Computers.net and made the move to TechConsumer. Back in June of 2005, I approached the original owner of Computers.net (who I had known for sometime) and asked what his plans were for the site (which was nothing more than a survey page at the time). As it turns out, he had always been interested in selling it but felt it was worth more than the highest offer he had received at that point: $50,000.
So I offered him a deal he couldn’t refuse: I would put together a blog, generate traffic, get advertising revenue, and then put Computers.net up for sale. In the process, I’d pay him a percentage of the ad revenue generated in exchange for a portion of the final selling price. Since he had done nothing with it since 1995, he figured my offer was worth a shot.
It took nearly two years of almost daily blogging before I felt the traffic was substantial enough for the site to be put up for sale. As much as I had hoped for an easier way, I found no better way to attract readers than to put out decent, consistent content. And just like most bloggers out there, I had regular life to attend to at the same time (which included working as an IT consultant and now my latest endeavor of getting my MBA). But it was a fun little experiment and side hobby.
Once up for sale, the offers started rolling in, though most were either low balls or maxed out before hitting six figures (there was plenty of negotiating back and forth). Remember that, in order for this to work, I had to sell for a price that would allow the original owner to make significantly more than the $50,000 he had previously rejected… and that had to be after he paid me my cut.
Interestingly enough, nearly every single offer above $10,000 wanted to know traffic stats and ad revenue before offering anything more than the initial offer. Many even wanted proof of these numbers in the form of screenshots. A few of the more serious potential buyers rose to the six figure level with the highest maxing out at $155,000.
Incidentally, he was one of those that wanted to know all the traffic and ad revenue details. In fact, he even had the option to use the existing content (which he did at first). But he decided to do his own thing. The point is that he would have not been interested had I not done the “proof of concept” groundwork in advance.
And there you have it, how to more than triple the value of a domain name via blogging. Computers.net ended up being the third highest .net sale (that I could find on record, anyway). Here’s how it stacks up:
Price, Name, Year
$454,500, Sex.net, 2006
$300,000, RealEstate.net, 2007
$155,000, Computers.net, 2007
$150,000, News.net, 2005
$149,000, Mortgage.net, 2006
$118,500, CreditCards.net, 2006
Now what about TechConsumer? Well, I learned a lot my first time around via my 350+ posts (which have all been imported here, by the way, feel free to take a look). But TechConsumer is different. I don’t have anyone else to report to and don’t necessarily have a goal of selling it. I’m more interested in building a fun community. See the newly updated About page and tell me what you think.