I’ve been wait to write this post for almost 3 years – I just bought ProBlogger.com.
The day I first came up with the idea of starting a blog called ProBlogger I started it as an extension on another blog domain. A few months later when I decided it was a topic that needed it’s own purpose built blog I found that Problogger.com was already taken (it was a holding page for a blogging community from memory) and so I was forced to buy up ProBlogger.net.
Since that time I’ve attempted to purchase ProBlogger.com. on a number of occasions – but in each instance the owner either was asking for an amount which was too much for my budget or had plans of their own to develop it.
I had numerous watch systems up on the domain in case it ever expired and every year in February I held my breath hoping that it would. However each year on the day it expired it was renewed – until this year….
That was the day that I started getting emails from ProBlogger.net readers telling me that the .com version was expired. I must have had at least 15-30 emails a day from readers telling me this (an indication of how much type in traffic my brand had been driving to the domain). In fact the domain has already got an Alexa ranking simply from this (around the 150,000 mark – higher than many developed blogs get after concerted effort).
Auction 1 – As part of the expiration process at GoDaddy (where the domain had been hosted) they then put domains up for auction – two weeks before the current owners can actually renew it for the last time (why they do it before their last chance for renew is a mystery to me).
So the GoDaddy auction took a week and ended a couple of weeks back. The price got too high for my liking (it was over $7000 USD) and someone else got the right to buy it if the renewal didn’t happen.
Luckily for me the previous owners did renew it (this was a real roller coaster for me) and then decided to sell the domain on ebay. My heart sank and leaped all at once – another auction to endure, but also another opportunity to buy the domain I’d been looking to secure for years.
Auction 2 – The ebay auction was nowhere near as active as the previous one and remained at the starting bid for a week. It was only in the last day or two that bids were placed. It was a reserve price auction and while the auction took place I talked to the representative of the owner.
The last few minutes of the auction were hot but at its end it hadn’t reached the reserve price. I had the highest bid ($4050 – the ebay page is here) and immediately contacted the owner’s rep to see if we could come to a mutually agreeable figure.
Negotiations – Of course this all happened just a few hours before our flight left Melbourne for the USA so it wasn’t an easy negotiation in terms of time zones – but I’m happy to announce that in the last day the final price was negotiated and payments and transfers have been made.
I’m not going to disclose the price – but it was higher than $4050 and lower than the original auction of $7000 USD. It was a little more than my budget and hope for a purchase price but in terms of having the control of the brand and some of my future hopes for ProBlogger I’m satisfied with what we negotiated.
At this point ProBlogger.com will simply forward to ProBlogger.net (and it’ll help increase traffic from type-ins slightly) – however I do have hopes to use the .com site for an additional ProBlogger branded online experience/feature.
I guess the whole experience has been a learning one for me. Get the domain you want early – think ahead – if you’re confident of your brand go for it earlier than later etc.
PS: thanks to the many many readers who emailed me to let me know the domain was up for grabs over the last month. I appreciate your support in the process!