What should I do with this domain?

PeterBPeterB subscriber Posts: 6
I created a pretty catchy domain name that has the name of my state in it and is "motorcycle oriented". I would rather not mention the name of my site because I do not want this post turning up in a google search for my site! I dont want to give up the domain name and not do anything with it because I think it is catchy and has potential.
 
I will mention my site is something like this: "XXXMaine.com" The XXX of course replaced with the other half of my domain name.
 
I originally created the domain name because I wanted to create an online community/forum for motorcycle riders in my state to meet up, talk, and meet other riders. I planned on earning some revenue from ads placed on the site. However, I have had difficulty actually getting people to sign up and start posting! I could drive traffic to the site but getting people to actually register and start posting on my new motorcycle forum was a different story. I still only have 5 members up to this day (3 months later). I also have not been advertising or driving traffic at all in the past 2 months because I have had som much trouble getting people to sign up and get invloved.
 
So I`ve decided I dont want to keep trying to make this just a forum. My dilemma is:
 
Should I take this crafty domain name and turn it into something else? (online store, video blog site, info site) and keep the forum as an extra feature on the site?
 
Since my domain name is "localized" with the name of my state in it, could this drive away visitors or customers from another state if I where to turn this into an eCommerce site/online store? How could I use this localized domain name to my advantage?
 
I am open and welcome any other ideas that I could use this domain name for!
 
PeterB9/1/2008 10:52 PM

Comments

  • WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    Just because you have it doesn`t mean you have to do something with it, or do it right away. It`s like having a nice silk tie hanging in your closet; just because it`s nice, it doesn`t mean you need to search for a new suit to go with it, then try to find a nice public place to wear it.
    I own the domain name "worldofblogging.com", which, I think, could be a great domain name with the right site behind it. Right now there is no site, not because I can`t put one up, but because I haven`t determined what, exactly, is the best thing to do with it, although there are many possibilities and ideas I`ve considered. Much like your situation. To me, it makes little sense to create the site when you don`t even know what you want the site to be.
    Give it time.
  • googleguygoogleguy subscriber Posts: 11
    I agree with GuerillaRed, you have a very limited market. If you were in California, or in a more populous state, you could look at an advertising driven site. Whenever we look at possible monetization strategies for websites, we look for large traffic numbers to atract advertising dollars.
     
    That being said, you can always try running an adsense campaign, but you will most likely be looking at small revenue figures.
     
    As far as conversion is concerned, you must realize that a website that relies on people registering or signing up, is a tough task for a new site, especially with a limited geographic target. You can count on 2 to 3% of your traffic will register on most new sites.
     
    You can try "parking" the site and making money on the revenue from paid sponsored links. This will give you an idea on how much traffic you will generate organically and also an idea on revenue, click through rate and possible monetization. Here is a site you can park it for free on:
     

    www.sedo.com

     
    Without the benefit of looking at an actual site makes this more difficult, I hope you found this helpful.
     
    GO GET IT!!!!
     
     

    www.searchmarketingsystems.net

     
     
     
  • PeterBPeterB subscriber Posts: 6
    Thanks everyone. All your posts are very helpful and what you are saying makes perfect sense. It is a very limited market, I agree. I guess I was just hoping it would be more than what it turned out to be. I`ll sit on the domain for now and possibly park it until I come up with a good way to use it.
  • redfishredfish subscriber Posts: 10
    I think forums for the most part are dead.  Except very special interest areas where Q&A are important.  Programming web forums are still active and other sites of that nature (like this one).  How much Q&A action is there for motorcycles?  Probably not as much as here.
    About 5 years ago we launched a website with a forum on a radio station.  It was very popular, we had thousands of posts each year, but over the last couple of years it`s started dieing off.  We had to close it recently because it just doesn`t look good having inactive forums (0-3 posts per month)...  We still have the same amount of traffic to our website.
    guerillaRed is right that you need more -- but I would probably ditch a full fledge forum.  These systems like phpBB are just too big.  When you`ve only got a few members you don`t need a whole bulletin board system with categories, ect... you just need one forum so people can easily access new posts (and it doesn`t look so inactive).  I`d start with a change there.
    Then I`d start introducing features that people want.  Motorcycles, like with cars, have a great interest in a classified ads-like system.  That way they can post parts and accessories for sale, advertise their meetups, ect...
    Also, people like to show-off.  Give members an area to easily show off their bikes.
    I agree with the blogging.  If you`re frequently at events or work on a motorcycle, or keep up with news (or even TV) then blogging will add a great deal to your website.
    I would also recommend a service where members can create a simple homepage for their own bike meetups.  Often these groups don`t know how to have a website, but would benefit from technology that easily allows them to publish meet up dates, photos, stories, ect...  something like www.xxxmaine.com/meetupname
    You`ll probably see a greater conversion of your traffic.  But also realize that a lot of people don`t sign up for websites and just use the info.
    Also realize that getting members can be a slow process.  Almost impossibly slow for forums because, and here`s the catch-22, if there`s no activity on the forum why would I join?
    If you want your forums to be active, you`re going to have to put a lot of work into it. And you could use a few friends to help you. Posting regularly would be important!
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