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Category Killer ccTLD Acquisition to 7 Figure Business in 2 1/2 Years – with Adrian McKeown

Kiwi entrepreneur Adrian McKeown learned about .COM investing many years ago, but struggled with its execution. He successfully switched to niche investing in his native New Zealand’s country code TLD (ccTLD) of .co.nz. Then, when he started a new online makeup business, his knowledge of domain values lead him to acquire category killer ccTLD Makeup.co.nz. In just 2 1/2 years, he and his business partner have grown the business to annual sales of 7 figures. Adrian discusses:

  • How the credibility of having the EMD category killer lead to key business opportunities
  • Understanding his niche in order to build his domain strategy and branding strategy
  • Why he’s not switching from the exact match domain to a more brandable domain name
  • How he’s now using his .co.nz drop list knowledge to move into the .com investment market

Investors and entrepreneurs who incorporate domains into brand strategy will benefit from today’s show.

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Adrian McKeown
Adrian McKeown
Adrian McKeown is an entrepreneur, and a director of several businesses including New Zealand-based online retailer Makeup.co.nz.

After many years of successfully investing in NZ domain names, he recently switched to .com. He runs NZDomainer.com, a blog that shares his journey starting from scratch as a new .com domain investor.

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11 Responses to “Category Killer ccTLD Acquisition to 7 Figure Business in 2 1/2 Years – with Adrian McKeown”

  1. Matt Holmes says:

    Great insights you two! I’m in Philippines for three months and it makes me want to buy all of the .ph domain names, but then I worry because there is also .com, and most scarily, .com.ph out here. What do you think Adrian? I would have to buy both .ph and .com.ph domains if I wanted to be the Adrian of the Philippines, right? I better buy PHDomainer.com now ;)

    1. Hey Matt!

      There are a lot of things that go into assessing whether ccTLDs are good investments.

      Firstly you’d need to look at what the dominant domain extension used in the Phillipines is, and just go with that. If businesses mostly use .com then, go with that.

      Some potential things you would need to investigate for PH would be internet penetration (is internet access broad enough among the population), willingness for Businesses to pay a high enough price to cover renewals for a few years, and your markup. Also things like language: Would the domain names be in Phillipine or English.

      CCTLDs are hard, but the bigger the market the better. As with anything, there are little niches you can find if you have the patience.

      But I like PHDomainer.com – it would be a good one!

      1. Matt Holmes says:

        How do you measure internet penetration, I worry it’s not as high here. After all, there are still a lot of travel agencies in business, which to me indicates (at least a little bit) to me that some people are getting information from individuals and not the internet.

        Is there a way to measure that?

        1. Hmm, in many countries the Ministry of Business or the country code registry sometimes do studies and release info on internet penetration and how sophisticated businesses are with online marketing.

          But I just googled ‘ph internet penetration’ and Google had a box which said 29% (2011). So that is quite low. Malaysia looks to have 61%. However at 29% that is 50 million internet users! So perhaps Internet Penetration is not the best metric.

          I would say it would be better to look at how saavy businesses are in the country with online marketing. There may be a study asking businesses whether they had a website, facebook page, etc.

          But hey with 50m internet users, there could be something to .ph domains if that is a well used and common extension. It’s all about whether a businesses are going to pay up enough to cover your portfolio holding costs. Of course if you outbound sell, you can turn names faster and make a profit.

          Could be worth doing a bit of research into.

          1. Matt Holmes says:

            That’s very interesting to learn how your mind works. I’ve never even considered this statistic before but I can see it having tremendous value! I just might have to research that a little bit more later. Thanks Adrian!

            1. DomainSherpa says:

              Matt & Adrian, this is quite the interesting conversation… I hope you two meet up at NamesCon! I’m wondering if you have any recommendations for reading more on this topic and more importantly, any experts in this field who you would like me to interview?!!

  2. Saro says:

    Very interesting & inspiring interview. Thanks.

  3. Jivan Bansi says:

    I’m in Canada,I just do .com, and.ca. I looked up makeup.ca, it resolves to makeup.com. Makeup has 7,480,000 monthly searches! [ google ad words keyword tool ] You compared it to “supplements” but that’s only 450,000 searches, so you did great. Thanks for the show, It’s my Monday ritual.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Yeah I was happy with the price we paid for Makeup.co.nz. I was surprised no large company bought it. But even these days, many large companies don’t understand the value of owning good supplementary domain names. Makeup.com sold to L’Oreal for $2 million, so I’m happy…

  4. Great to hear an Exact Match cctld story. There are so many untold stories , wish you guys would focus more on REAL WORLD cctld applications.

    This should be ton of such great stories from all the major cctld markets – DE, UK, CA, IN, CN etc

    Those stories don’t get hyped, but those are real

    1. GreenJobs says:

      How is this not a “real story”?

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