Avoid the scams, find out which Business Opportunities actually work
21st September 2011
Filed under: General Opportunities,Internet Marketing — Ben @ 7:03 pm

So many blogs, so little time.

Unfortunately a lot of blog posts are boring and uninformative.

Not all, of course. You just need to do some searching to find the worthwhile ones.

Here are 5 interesting reads for your next coffee break (links open in a new window):

(1) Marcus Passey – Internet Marketing – I Am Failing Fast – So How Will I succeed?

This very refreshing blog post from Marcus Passey, a UK marketer, shows that there are marketers who aren’t afraid to tell the truth when it’s warranted.

Marcus was one of those rare marketers that made money within the first few months of trying.

However, he soon got disenchanted with what he was going (essentially using ad swaps) and made this blog post to tell his readers why.

Good stuff.

(2) Erica Douglass – The Failure Manifesto

At the age of 26 Erica sold her business for $1.1 million which made a lot of people take notice of her.

I don’t know about you but I always figured that once you made a million, you were on easy street but in this blog post Erica explains why she’s spent a lot of time crying.

The million hasn’t set her up for life, anything but. In fact she notes; “sold my company for $1.1 million, and I don’t even have enough money for a house down payment.”

Another refreshing blog post that shows that even the “big winners” from the internet don’t have it easy.

(3) Jeff Wellman – Product Positioning & Differentiation Strategy! Why New Products Fail!

With more that a little help from his son, Jeff Wellman drew in six figures from his first product in 2007 – “Lay Off Your Boss“.

Sadly the money he made didn’t last long and soon he had to do another product launch. This blog post describes how the second launch wasn’t quite as successful.

Most marketers wouldn’t be as honest as Jeff is being in this post. Whilst you’re at his site read some of his other posts as he has written a lot recently about his marketing exploits over the past 4 years.

It’s all good, honest stuff and shows that even with a big leg-up you can still struggle.

(4) Bret Thomson – How To Deal With Blood-Sucking Leeches Disguised As Wanna-Be Clients

This is funny.

I read this blog post and immediately got a mental picture of the kind of person who would approach a copywriter in this way. I’ve seen them lots of times at seminars – the man with the big idea.

Oblivious to their stupidity, they think they are doing the copywriter a favour by letting them work for free.

Thankfully Bret gives this idiot his marching orders.

(5) Mark Lyford – Chris Cobb Scam

This isn’t a blog post really, more of a “name and shame” website.

The short story is that Mark paid Chris Cobb $25,000 for a service but doesn’t think he got that service so now he is asking for a refund.

Chris refuses to give a refund so Mark created a website on which he details all of their email exchanges.

An eye-opener.

4th September 2011
Filed under: Domain Names — Ben @ 6:49 pm

Auctions for 1 and 2 letter dot co dot uk domains names started on Thursday 1st September 2011 after a surprisingly low amount of advertising.

Nominet are finally releasing some extremely short, and most likely very valuable, domains like g.co.uk, bb.co.uk and t.co.uk.

Previously the shortest UK domain length available was 3 letters, and these were all registered shortly after the beginning of the new millennium.

It’s too late to take part in these auctions now, applications had to be in several weeks ago. Also, you can’t watch the auctions, that’s a privilege available only to the participants.

The process was as follows:

(1) Find a registrar that would process your application

This was quite difficult. Several of the big registrars weren’t taking part at all. Of those that were, some were charging ridiculous amounts of money. One quote worked out at almost £200 per domain.

After ringing around the best fee was found to be £10 + VAT per domain.

(2) Submit application and await email from Nominet.

(3) Pay Nominet £10 per domain

(4) Await further instructions.

Nominet provided a very interesting “WHOIS” search engine that listed the applicants for each domain.

When the words “Facebook Ireland Limited” appeared as an auction participant for fb.co.uk it was obvious that only a monstrous amount of money would win that. Likewise with “Google Inc” and g.co.uk. T-Mobile, Huawei and 28 others were listed as bidders for t.co.uk.

The auctions started at 10am on Thursday for the domains ag.co.uk through to iz.co.uk.

Proxy bids weren’t used so it wasn’t like eBay. If you bid £10,000 when the auction was at, say, £500, the current highest bid would jump straight to £10,000. Obviously, care was needed.

After a bid the time left was extended to 1 hour. Once it got to 5pm the auction would halt and then continue the next day. Many auctions carried over to the Friday.

Below are some results from Thursday and Friday. These will be updated as the auctions finish.

Finish Prices for UK Short Domain Landrush Auctions:

ag.co.uk £2,600.00
ah.co.uk £3,000.00
ai.co.uk £6,000.00
aj.co.uk £2,800.00
ak.co.uk £1,850.00
al.co.uk £4,000.00
an.co.uk £2,300.00
ao.co.uk £2,100.00
ap.co.uk £3,800.00
ar.co.uk £4,000.00
as.co.uk £4,100.00
au.co.uk £3,500.00
ax.co.uk £2,100.00
ay.co.uk £1,501.00
bb.co.uk £25,000.00
bc.co.uk £8,500.00
bd.co.uk £2,750.00
bf.co.uk £3,500.00
bg.co.uk £5,100.00
bh.co.uk £3,100.00
bi.co.uk £3,500.00
bm.co.uk £5,100.00
bo.co.uk £2,800.00
br.co.uk £4,100.00
bs.co.uk £3,200.00
bu.co.uk £1,400.00
bv.co.uk £1,900.00
bx.co.uk £2,200.00
by.co.uk £3,000.00
bz.co.uk £2,100.00
ca.co.uk £5,400.00
ce.co.uk £2,600.00
cf.co.uk £3,200.00
cg.co.uk £2,400.00
ch.co.uk £2,850.00
ci.co.uk £2,150.00
cj.co.uk £2,700.00
ck.co.uk £5,100.00
cl.co.uk £4,000.00
cn.co.uk £4,600.00
cq.co.uk £1,200.00
cr.co.uk £2,700.00
cs.co.uk £4,900.00
ct.co.uk £3,250.00
cu.co.uk £3,500.00
cv.co.uk £38,000.00
cx.co.uk £1,800.00
cy.co.uk £1,200.00
cz.co.uk £1,500.00
d.co.uk £15,100.00
da.co.uk £2,300.00
dc.co.uk £4,900.00
de.co.uk £5,500.00
df.co.uk £2,600.00
dh.co.uk £3,300.00
di.co.uk £3,100.00
dj.co.uk £8,000.00
dl.co.uk £3,200.00
dn.co.uk £7,800.00
do.co.uk £5,400.00
dp.co.uk £3,400.00
dq.co.uk £1,201.00
dr.co.uk £9,300.00
dt.co.uk £2,800.00
du.co.uk £1,250.00
dv.co.uk £2,500.00
dw.co.uk £2,600.00
dx.co.uk £3,200.00
dy.co.uk £1,201.00
dz.co.uk £1,301.00
ec.co.uk £3,160.00
ed.co.uk £7,500.00
ee.co.uk £5,000.00
eg.co.uk £3,200.00
eh.co.uk £2,650.00
ej.co.uk £2,678.00
ek.co.uk £3,000.00
el.co.uk £2,600.00
em.co.uk £3,100.00
en.co.uk £1,850.00
eo.co.uk £2,200.00
ep.co.uk £2,100.00
eq.co.uk £1,700.00
er.co.uk £2,900.00
es.co.uk £5,900.00
eu.co.uk £4,200.00
ev.co.uk £1,700.00
ex.co.uk £4,700.00
ez.co.uk £4,000.00
f.co.uk £17,000.00
fb.co.uk £19,500.00
fe.co.uk £2,350.00
fg.co.uk £1,950.00
fi.co.uk £6,001.00
fj.co.uk £2,000.00
fk.co.uk £2,600.00
fn.co.uk £1,900.00
fo.co.uk £2,200.00
fp.co.uk £3,100.00
fq.co.uk £2,050.00
fr.co.uk £5,100.00
fs.co.uk £4,000.00
fu.co.uk £3,000.00
fv.co.uk £1,400.00
fw.co.uk £2,500.00
fy.co.uk £1,900.00
fz.co.uk £1,201.00
g.co.uk £76,000.00
gc.co.uk £2,250.00
gd.co.uk £2,700.00
gf.co.uk £3,800.00
gi.co.uk £1,950.00
gk.co.uk £1,750.00
gl.co.uk £2,300.00
gm.co.uk £5,800.00
gn.co.uk £2,600.00
gt.co.uk £2,700.00
gv.co.uk £1,201.00
gw.co.uk £3,400.00
gx.co.uk £1,800.00
gy.co.uk £1,101.00
gz.co.uk £1,201.00
h.co.uk £16,000.00
hb.co.uk £2,550.00
hc.co.uk £3,000.00
he.co.uk £3,750.00
hg.co.uk £1,950.00
hi.co.uk £6,400.00
hk.co.uk £4,000.00
hm.co.uk £10,000.00
hn.co.uk £2,000.00
ho.co.uk £1,850.00
hq.co.uk £6,900.00
hr.co.uk £22,888.00
ht.co.uk £2,450.00
hu.co.uk £1,300.00
hv.co.uk £1,700.00
hx.co.uk £1,000.00
hy.co.uk £2,100.00
hz.co.uk £2,666.00
ib.co.uk £3,200.00
id.co.uk £15,000.00
if.co.uk £15,101.00
ih.co.uk £3,050.00
ii.co.uk £7,911.00
ij.co.uk £1,101.00
ik.co.uk £1,750.00
il.co.uk £2,300.00
in.co.uk £6,500.00
io.co.uk £2,700.00
ip.co.uk £9,600.00
iq.co.uk £9,000.00
ir.co.uk £2,500.00
is.co.uk £4,600.00
iu.co.uk £2,000.00
iv.co.uk £2,500.00
iw.co.uk £2,100.00
ix.co.uk £1,700.00
iy.co.uk £1,201.00
iz.co.uk £1,100.00

The single letter domains ended up being expensive, as one would expect.

d.co.uk £15,100.00
f.co.uk £17,000.00
g.co.uk £76,000.00

Others were also expensive:

bb.co.uk £25,000.00 (Blackberry?)
cv.co.uk £38,000.00 (CV – obvious attraction)
fb.co.uk £19,500.00 (Facebook?)
hr.co.uk £22,888.00 (Human Resources?)
id.co.uk £15,000.00 (ID)
if.co.uk £15,101.00 (Intelligent Finance?)

None of the two letter domains went for below one thousand pounds, the lowest was hx.co.uk at one thousand pounds which when VAT was added would mean £1,200.

Domains containing the so-called “non-premium” letters like q, x, y and z were notably lower than others.

J to R auctions come next week and then S-Z and single number auctions the week after.

The proceeds go to charity and these auctions may net over £1 million. Some domainers have commented that the prices are lower than they expected, perhaps due to the lack of prior knowledge of these auctions taking place.

Looking at the DNJournal.com lists of sales for 2009, 2010 and 2011 so far, the lowest price a two-lettered dot com domain sold for was $80,000. If these are an indication of how valuable 2 letter domains can be in a good extension, the £1,200 paid for hx.co.uk could end up being a very astute investment.