Tim Culpepper, a Military Intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, began his online business in 2009, so he could pay off his college loans. He had been paying on his loans for ten years, and he still had five years of loan payments left when he became impatient and decided he needed to earn some extra income with a part-time business.
The Department of Defense permits service members to run their own business as long as it does not interfere with their official duties, and as long as there is no suggestion that the DOD endorses the business, as is the case with Culpepper.
Culpepper wanted to find something online, but there was one issue.
“I’m in the military; I can be sent overseas at anytime. So a traditional online business won’t work. I knew back in 2009 that if I started an eBay business, for example, the business would die if I were sent overseas. I needed a business model that would sustain itself in my absence.”
Culpepper learned he could build informative websites and place ads on them to make money. A model that could continue if he was deployed. He spent a year teaching himself HTML and PhP, and launched some websites. The idea was to build quality websites that conveyed value to the visitor. He soon realized however, this alone was just not enough.
“I realized I had a major flaw in my plan. I was launching sites on terrible domain names. My first-time visitors did not remember the domain names, so they never returned.”
Search engines did send visitors to his websites, but they never came back. He thought the domain name must be too hard to remember, so, he decided to register better domains. Domain names with three important characteristics: short, memorable and brandable.
He found success with SlangBuzz.com. People returned to his site, and the number of monthly visitors improved. Armed with this information, Culpepper set out to find better domains. He turned to domain auctions, where he purchased expired domain names that met his criteria.
One domain he purchased, he developed into a successful website and, within a few months, sold it for ten times what he paid.
This is how Culpepper discovered domain investing; the business of buying domains – developing a website – and selling the domain later for a higher price.
“My primary business is building websites that provide value to my visitors, and recurring income to me. I’ve managed to acquire a few really nice domains, and I’m of course not opposed to selling them. So this makes me a domain investor of sorts.”
For Culpepper to be successful, he spends a portion of his time every morning looking at ten to twenty different websites, reading all the latest industry news making sure he never misses any opportunities in the domain investing world. This learning process is where the idea came to build a domain industry news aggregator website. He wanted a one-stop shop for domain investors, and aspiring domain investors, to receive all their news.
So how is domain.buzz different from other domain investing news aggregation websites? While Culpepper’s website curates news from the normal channels of domain investing, it also curates news from outside the industry in areas such as entrepreneurship, small business and emerging technology trends.
“Specifically, I try to complement the normal domain investor news with stories on entrepreneurship and small business, which provide inspiration to most domain investors, all of whom are entrepreneurs. I also curate stories in emerging tech. I like this field in particular because domain investors appreciate tips regarding new technology.”
“When I was selecting the name for domain.buzz, my timing just happened to coincide with the launch of hundreds of new TLDs. “Of all the options available, I felt .buzz offered three strong reasons for selection that are important to me: excitement, aggressive marketing and influence.”
“When you go to a .buzz website, you feel as if you’re being let in on a secret, you’re getting insider information, you feel special. .buzz is the most appropriate Top Level Domain for a news site discussing all that’s occurring within an industry. Did you hear the latest “buzz” about this or that?”
Culpepper is impressed with the relationships the .buzz registry has developed noting the recent partnership announced with Howard Lefkowitz’s company, One Degree World.
“The news from Howard Lefkowitz a few months ago was absolutely fantastic! The plan to develop 400 premium .buzz destinations is very exciting. As we start to see more and more developed sites, we’ll start to see more advertising and marketing for these sites. This will bring more awareness for .buzz, which will benefit everyone. And, the Wheel of Fortune deal… that was quite a coup!”
Tim Culpepper is definitely happy to be sporting the .buzz brand for his websites, and for him there’s just one thing left to do.
“As for me, domain.buzz is launched. Now it’s time to get to work on stockmarket.buzz which I purchased during the .buzz NameJet auction last year.”