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May 14, 2021

Domain Inspiration + Virtual Birthday Cards

a doggy receiving a birthday cake

I started typing this out as an email to Peter Askew a.k.a. @searchbound on Twitter a.k.a. The Onion Guy, but

1) I've never met him and it ran kind of long, which starts to get weird when you've never emailed someone before.
2) I just spent all last weekend resurrecting my old ass blog posts and getting this thing set up to post again.

I bought IntroCave (https://introcave.com) in the summer of 2018. I would say there were two posts that contributed pretty strongly to me taking that plunge that I had read on Hacker News:

During due diligence, I noticed that most of its search traffic came from searches related to "intro maker" and intromaker.com was parked/available. I negotiated for that and bought it alongside the branded website, thinking if it can make ~$3k/mo on a crappy domain it could probably do a lot better rebranded as intromaker.com.

The results of that experiment are still TBD–I'm waiting until the original site pays for itself before potentially nuking it to $0 with a domain migration.

IntroCave / IntroMaker is video rendering as a service. I get random ideas from time to time for other niches that could use the same tech. While going through some old files from the previous owner, I found a handful of old Valentine's/wedding videos and started thinking about video valentines…

Domain Search #1:

  • videovalentine.com -> parked for ~$3k
  • videovalentines.com -> parked for ~$2k

Search Intent: 100-1k/month on "video valentine" with no paid ads running on that keyword

It seems pretty easy but very low yield. Probably not worth the effort.

What about birthdays?

Domain Search #2:

  • videobirthday.com -> $2295
  • videobirthdaycard.com -> taken/empty
  • videobirthdaycards.com -> $1250

Search Intent: video birthday (which would be more like a zoom room?) has 1k-10k, but the rest are still in the 100-1k range. Some paid ads, but kind of duds.

What about "virtual"?

Domain Search #3:

  • virtualbirthdaycard.com -> unregistered
  • virtualbirthdaycards.com -> listed for sale at $9,880 (!)

Search Intent: 10k-100k searches, high competition, ad spend.

Which is a way-too-long way of saying I bought virtualbirthdaycard.com for $12.

No idea what I'll do with it. A lot of birthday venues for little kids have a video projector set up to play a video at the party. It might be cool to do something like:

  • Collect video "Happy Birthday!" wishes from grandparents/etc who can't make it and stitch those together
  • Same thing but show them all as a wall of talking heads (kind of like people are doing these days with video testimonials)
  • Let people sing "Happy Birthday" and stitch all the video/audio together dynamically like the TikTok sea shanty thing
  • Office people all have good video setups now – do recorded anniversary/birthday cards instead of the weird slideshow / text things people are doing today

Or simpler ideas:

  • Reviews/tutorials for the existing ecard sites that are already paying for Google Ads against "virtual birthday card"
  • Build a competitor to the existing ecard sites (even with animations, the tech is easier than what I'm doing now for intro videos).

Or maybe just sit on it. If the plural version is worth $10k (well, it's listed at $10k. worth is harder to argue), maybe someone who really, really wants to do one of the above will come along and offer a few grand for it (what a value!).

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