As 2012 draws to a close, I though I would list how each of my business ventures did in 2012:
The Bad Things of 2012:
* I setup a bunch of new sites, but none of them have made any money:
BigCelebrities.com – Social media rankings for over 15,000 celebrities using a proprietary formula that I created. I also profiles custom written for over 5000 of the celebrities. Kind of like Klout.com, but more entertaining. The site gets less than 50 visitors a day.
CoverFights.com – Vote for which cover song music video you like best. I found and watched hundreds of videos and added each one manually to the site.
LocalArea.com – Local info for each city and state in the USA. I paid for custom written content for each of the 50 states and several hundred cities. The site gets less than 5 visitors a day.
WatchVideos.com – A custom programmed video site showing the most popular videos from Youtube.
GetVideos.com – Uses heavily modified clip-bucket.com software along with the Videoswiper.com server to automatically add new videos to the site each day.
PickStocks.com – Ranks stocks based on their social media popularity, to try to predict which stocks will go up and down. I also had somebody write custom profiles for all 500 stocks in my database. The site only gets 2-3 visitors a day.
KidsHeadlines.com – News for kids, automatically updated.
FindCliches.com – A list of hundreds of popular cliches and their meanings.
Tizzy.com – A search engine for mobile phone apps. I never added very many apps to it though.
BigFansites.com – A directory of fan sites.
FilmReviews.net – Movie reviews compiled from Twitter for all the popular movies, automatically updated each week.
* Buying Sites – I purchased 20 sites such as TipTopTens.com and Stuffonmycat.com but they have not worked out too well. About 1/2 the sites ended up making way way less than the seller’s said they were, and the rest are doing ok but not great. Mainly, it involved a lot of time and effort to take over each site, and some of the sites caused my servers to crash, so overall it was not worth the effort.
* WatchMovies.com – I setup this site several years ago but this year I added custom written movie reviews, as well as custom pages like the Six Degrees of Separation Game (find out how 2 actors are connected by their movies) and Which Celebrity Do You Look Like (upload your photo and it uses face matching to show you celebs that look like you). Traffic did not increase any, and then to make it worse last month AdSense banned the site. They were not clear why, but it seemed to be related to link trading or SEO, although as far as I know I was not doing anything wrong.
* Custom Written Blogs – I added blogs to Fairies.com, CheapFlowers.com, PickStocks.com, and BigCelebrities.com in the hopes that having frequently updated content would help my search engine listings, but it didn’t.
* Minisites – I shut down my network of 4000+ minisites because the domains were not getting much more traffic than years ago when I had them parked. I paid for over 14,000 custom written articles for these minisites, as well as thousands of other pieces of custom content such as Flash games, plus I spent a lot of time developing a content management system for all of this.
* Super Mini Sites – When it was clear the my minisites were not working out, I changed around 200 of the better domains to use WordPress instead, with a custom WordPress template design for each site, and better articles. These sites did not do any better than the previous minisites.
* Search Sites -I had a bunch of sites that were out of date and not making any money, so keep them going I changed them all to use Google Custom Search, which is a product Google offers that lets me show users narrowly focused search results based on certain keywords that I specify. I make money when a user clicks on one of the ads on the Google search results page. So far none of the sites are making any money:
FindBlogs.com (a blog search engine)
FindHosts.com (a web hosting search engine)
KidV.com (videos for kids)
SuperPhotos.com (a photo search engine)
FindInfo.com (A Google type search engine)
FindFlorists.com (a florist search engine)
* Unique Content – I added a large number of articles to each of my killer domain WordPress sites, such as Weights.com, Pastries.com, Physical.com, Hoaxes.com, and AdvertisingAgency.com, so that they would have frequently updated content in addition to the dozens of articles they already had on them from when I initially setup each site, but they did not get any extra traffic.
* Small But Good Sites – I setup a bunch of one or two page sites with good content that I compiled myself, all on good domains, but they get almost no traffic. Some examples include GreatProverbs.com, DumbInsults.com, CelebSayings.com, and OfficeSlang.com.
* Arcade Sites – I setup 20 online game sites using software from wparcade.com, but they get almost on traffic. Some example include
crazygamers.com, greatgamers.com, 247gamers.com, and superplayers.com.
The Good Things in 2012:
* Mobile Apps – I finally got into the app business. So far just iPhone apps but soon I will come out with some Android ones also. I have free 7 apps live in the Apple app store, but around 20 more under development. The 7 apps are are making around $150/month (from banner ads) which is not great, but good enough for me to envision having hundreds of apps just like I have hundreds of websites. If 7 apps make $150/month then 700 apps could make $15,000/month and that would be more than I make from all of my websites.
* Domain Parking – When I shut down my minisites, I switched all 5000 of my unused domains to Frank Schilling’s internettraffic.com domain parking and sales service. So far the parking is making 4-5 times what I was making several years ago when I had the same domains parked. Their sales platform is good and easy to use, although I am not sure if I have sold any additional domains because of it.
* Domain Sales – Sales of my domain names have been going strong. I hardly ever make any big sales anymore, but I have just as many small ones ($500 – $5000) ones as ever. Now that domain parking income is almost paying for my annual domain fees, it takes the pressure off for me having to sell domains just to pay the fees.
Looking Towards 2013:
Overall, 2012 was a bad year for me. Luckily, because I have decent income from domain sales and my hundreds of older websites, I do not need to count on new business ventures to make a living. That being said, what I described above for 2012 was pretty much the same as each of the previous 4 years. In prior years, I was hopeful something would change, but now after 5 years of this I am at the point of giving up. No, I am not going out of business or selling my sites, but I can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and not making money, so I need to change things up for 2013. I am not sure yet what path I will take, but I will keep posting my business adventures in my blog as always.