Over the summer I wrote how I fell in love with the Yachts.com domain name, even though I knew nothing about boats. I spent months building a site, setting up a boat brokerage business, getting in the luxury boat charter business, offering to buy boats for cash, offering boat insurance, offering peer-to-peer yacht rentals, and more.
Everything went fine, in the sense that there were no problems, it all ran smoothly. But nothing I did, including a lot of SEO work, increased the site traffic from the 30-40 visitors a day Yachts.com was getting before I even built a site on it. And any money I spent on ads (in Google) to increase traffic did not make a profit.
I was stuck. There were still many potential ways I could use Yachts.com, plus lots of people offered to joint venture with me, but nothing seemed optimal.
So I pivoted. I changed the site to offer NFT yachts (digital yacht ownership), like a virtual yacht metaverse. NFTs and metaverses are two of the hottest trends right now. But traffic still did not go up, and either way, NFTs seemed like a less than optimal use of the Yachts.com domain, as I could use any decent domain for that (CyberYachting.com is available right now to register for $10).
I was ready to give up, maybe sell the domain. Then one day I received an email from a guy who does yacht rentals in The Canary Islands. He had some ideas about working together. I decided it would be too limited to use Yachts.com only for boat charters in one small vacation spot like his, but talking with him gave me some new ideas, and more importantly reinvigorated my passion for developing the site.
And just like that…I was back in the yacht business. I spent the last 2 weeks completely redesigning the site from scratch (I switched from WordPress to PHP) to be much more about boating vacation destinations, and to make money from travel affiliate programs instead of me doing all the work. And I will soon also add yacht charters from the guy in the Canary Islands, but that is only one of the 400 vacation spots I now offer.
The new Yachts.com may still not be the best use of the domain, but at least it has focus. My previous versions were hard to promote because it was never clear exactly what the site offered. Next, I will work on trying to increase traffic and getting it to make money.