Minisite In A Week Series: Day 1 Selecting A Name

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This week I invite you to build a minisite with me over the course of 5 days. This will require less than one hour of time a day and today’s task will only take a few seconds to look over your portfolio. But, although it does not take a long time it is one of the more important steps in developing a site.

Before we select any sites I want to clarify a few things and set expectations for the week. One minisite will not make you a millionaire. It will not even make you a thousandaire. Minisites are exactly that minisites; a building block for something more. They can be profitable on their own and if you have a few sites you can make some nice extra cash. You must continue to update them with content and links. You can build a few sites and see which ones do well a babies and then take those and build them bigger.

To find names I will talk about below there are a ton of great tools like freshdrop, drop day, and many free lists people publish. You can also pick them up pretty cheap on domain forums and even hand register many.

Now on to selecting names

When I look at buying a name to build into a minisite I look at a few main things.

Search Metrics

I look at the Google Broad, Phrase and Exact search metrics. While there are no exact numbers I look for above 500 is a good place to start. Google recently change their numbers that they include in the Google Adwords search tool so now they are all much lower. Higher broad and phrase search numbers can tell you the possibly for long tail searches. If I see lots of these on a product domain I get excited because then I will look at doing reviews or something. Take for example my spy pen site. Exact search would be for “Spy Pen” and phrase could be for 4GB Spy Pen. There are also other tools to look at like estibot and word tracker which provide useful search data. My view is the more data you can look at the better.

Cost Per Click

Google shares the data that means how much it cost for a click on a term, which is not how much you will get paid. I have found that on $5 cpc I get a little less than half. If I am developing a name using only adsense I look for names with cpc from $2 to $7. Once you get too high the terms become too hard to rank easily for and if there is no cpc then you will not show any ads. Cost Per click is not an end all but it is nice to have a decent number especially for resale to both end user and resellers. It shows how much each lead is worth to a company.


You can get an idea of the competition using the CPC or the number of ads but a simple Google search will also tell you how many results are returned for any specific search. If there is no competition then you might want to look for another name because there may not be a market but if there is too much it might require a ton of work which you may or may not want to do. I like to pick sites that have a little competition for minisites. If it is going to be a little larger of a site I will pick something more competitive.

Affiliate Programs

If my site is a product domain I will also search eBay’s completed listings to see if and for what price the items are selling for. I will also check amazon to make sure they carry the product which they almost always do. I might also look at clickbank or commission junction to see if they have anything I might want to use on the site.

Building Your Own Network

I also like to see how each name fits into my network. I like to build out related names in a few areas and then I can link them together. I have a few areas I concentrate on now like camping, financial, running, and health. I will build out some sites not in those areas but it becomes easier to build out similar sites because you learn the area, the major players and build connections.


I know we have not built any sites yet, but with a name I always look a few steps ahead to see what the possibilities are down the road if the site takes off. Are there companies that can dropship the product, can I stock the product, can I sell a virtual product or ebook, are there companies that might be willing to partner or buy my site out once it grows? These are all good questions to ask when you start your site.

Prefix Suffix, Color, Cheap, Store Domains

One final thought is that I like product domains that have a prefix word on them like Best, Top, Cheap, any Color (that makes sense and is a real product), buy, anything like this makes a nice name for a small minisite. Also at the end I like to look for names that end with the words store, mart, shop, reviews.


How are you going to make money off the site?

There are so many possibilities a few of the most common are Google Adsense, Amazon affiliate products and reviews, eBay Partner Network, Lead Generation, Drop shipping, Selling your own product, a Paid Directory,  Other Affiliate Products, and Direct Ads.


Rather than explain all of them I am going to be building 5 sites with you this week and I will explain my plan with each of them. 1,300 exact searches with $5.26 cpc My plan for this name is to start with 4 articles and use adsense because of the high cpc and low competition. If the site grows I could see lead generation working well with this name because of the value of a new bank account to various banks. A nice product name with low searches only 260 exact but the name could be a nice seasonal site. I will use eBay Partner Network on the name and also Adsense and another Costume Affiliate Program. 1,600 exact This is going to be lead gen site with some adsense. My Rent a Cargo Van Site has done so well I wanted to give it another try with a rental name. It should not be too hard to rank for and if each lead is worth a few bucks it would pay for itself quickly. Some people might say that this name is too long but I don’t care about how long the name is. It is longer than most but it has 880 exact searches and low competition. I am going to use mostly affiliate programs to sell cards and also hopefully sell or give away my own templates and sample letters to write to teachers. After all of the great teachers I have had help me it’s the least I can do. A health name with 2,400 exact searches and a nice list of longtail searches. I am going to sell ebooks and also use adsense on the site. This one should have about 10 articles at launch because of the many long tail terms I am going to try and rank for.

So there you have it my five names I will be building with you this week! Now share yours below. Tomorrow we are going to look at wordpress and the tips I do on all of my sites. We will also talk about theme design and headers. In the meantime pick out your name to use for the week. Sorry this post got so long but its good stuff! And if you have any questions please ask me.


Related posts:

  1. Minisite in a Week: Day Two Minisite Design
  2. Minisite In A Week: Day 3 Content
  3. Minisite in a Week Day 4: Making Money off Your Minisites


11 Responses to “Minisite In A Week Series: Day 1 Selecting A Name”

  1. Jon
    March 28th, 2011 @ 10:02 am

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    thanks for this, I’ll try it out with you, here’s my project:

  2. TeenDomainer
    March 28th, 2011 @ 10:04 am

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    Alright great thanks Jon!

  3. Victor Paez
    March 28th, 2011 @ 11:43 am

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    How about these domains:

  4. Joel
    March 28th, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

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    I’ll be building

    Which I picked up after seeing it on one of your auction lists, by the way.

  5. Michael H
    March 28th, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

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    Now this is good stuff Brian! These are the kinds of posts I like to see from you!

    I’m totally in……. (picked this one up thanks to you, btw)

    Not sure, both have different kidns of potential…


  6. Poor Uncle
    March 28th, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

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    Good stuff. I notice you use ebay affiliate in many of your minisites. I tried a couple of times to apply for an account, and get rejected everytime. My name/site is not great. But I thought they would give me a second look with a name like, selling mattresses and beds. But no luck. Maybe they don’t work with folks who don’t have an ebay account?

  7. Olex
    March 28th, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

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    Okay. I need to start to develop my domains as well and I’ll join you during this week with my approach for minisites.

    Firstival I started the selection of several best ones from my portfolio but then…
    just will develop last registred five.

    So my list is:

  8. Esa-Pekka
    March 29th, 2011 @ 4:35 am

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    Nice post – have you checked out the free ebook by on domain name selection and development, it covers similar topics. It’s downloadable here:

  9. Tuesday 3-29 Product Domain Drops : Teen Domainer
    March 29th, 2011 @ 7:44 am

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    [...] I am doing a series this week on minisites its not too late to join read about day 1 [...]

  10. TeenDomainer
    March 29th, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

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    Thanks guys I am glad you enjoyed the post
    Nice to see people are putting the names I list to good use!

  11. Good Wednesday 3-30 Product Domain Drops : Teen Domainer
    March 30th, 2011 @ 3:46 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/ on line 103

    [...] you missed my first two minisite post here is day one about picking a name andday two about design today is day three going over [...]

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