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Planning a New Site

Whether you are building a mini site or you are planning to build a large, community driven site, doing a mind map is a great way to visualize, organize and optimize your development effort. A good plan, a well thought out structure and key word brainstorming will lead to a more usable (and profitable) site.


As promised, I'm going to go over another of my recent domain registrations. This will be a site focusing on collaboration software, conferencing tools, portal software, and the like. I've had a bit more time with this name so I'm going to focus more on the next stage of development - the planning stage. This is really where the mind mapping makes an impact.

Value Estimation

I admit, I'm a fan of dashes. I wasn't at first and there is a general lack of interest in the larger domaining community in dashes. But the truth is, when you are trying to develop SEO rich, keyword names, the dashes can really help you out. First, they are more easy to find and register. Also, the longer your keywords are, or the more of them you have, the dashes can help visually break up your keywords and make them stand out in search results.
For example:

But the dashes do hurt valuations. CollaborationTools has an estibot value of $55k, but I have a dash and went with the slightly less valuable "collaborative" instead of "collaboration". I chose collaborative because I feel I can rank more quickly and easily and yet still pull in traffic based on collaboration. I also like the word better, but that's just my opinion. Estibot has inaccurate info again though for "collaborative" and they generally reduce the valuation to about 10% or less of the value when you include a dash. I don't necessarily disagree, as the dashes are less liquid in many cases. So I'd put the valuation at $200 - $500. I plan to make a lot more from it though as there are lots of searches in this niche and many advertisers with CPC anywhere from $5 to $9. It doesn't take many clicks at those prices to make some serious money, but it will require development.

Development Plans

As I mentioned, a mind map can really help put your thoughts together and even come up with interesting new ideas as you brainstorm. I love my tablet pc and use OneNote to build everything from mind maps to roughly sketched page layouts. My mind map for Collaborative-Tools is still a work in progress but I've included it here:
Mind Map

I've also sketched a home page and will likely sketch a couple of other pages before I'm through just to make sure my site's template, logos and such are all working well together. I don't spend a lot of time on these sketches but I find them helpful to work off of.

Home Page Sketch


Because this is site is something I'm very familiar with, I feel like I'm likely to build it out more than just a small mini site. I also think that with CPC and affiliate sales worth a significant amount, I think I can really do well with this site. It'll be a smaller audience, with only 2-3k exact matches, but I think I can rank pretty well on some more heavily searched terms as well.

I'd like to get traffic up to 300 a month after 3 months, with a goal of getting to 2k visitors a month by the end of the year. The revenue from 2k visitors a month though could easily reach upwards of $400 a month in revenue, largely from affiliate sales. I'll have probably twice as much time into this domain though compared to what I had costed out for GreenTips(dot)tv. I'll be adjusting my goals based on how well I can rank for terms with higher searches per month and if I can get some sponsors. This could grow into a $1k a month earner if I put the time into it.

I hope these posts have been helpful. I'll try to keep up with their progress here on UtterDomain. I've also got some link building/site network stuff I'm working on for a future post. If you have any questions, suggestions or critiques, give me a shout!

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