When people hear that I own the domain GreenJobs.com, the first question is,"How did you buy that?" or some other question or phrase along these lines.
People are interested since buying and acquiring premium domain names is hard these days. They also want to know how much I bought GreenJobs.com for. (Read the whole article to find out.)
Since these questions comes up so frequently, I'm going to share the story of how I bought the domain name GreenJobs.com.
In a time far far away
Years ago I was in trying to figure out what to do with myself. I was looking around for a marketing job and it wasn’t going well. Something a lot of people that can relate to.
Luckily for me I had several back-to-back domain sales for decent amounts of money. I’ve bought and sold domain names for awhile but never had success in such a short amount of time. Sales team will tell you that sales come in waves and this was definitely true for me.
One of my sales Woofed.com was even reported in DNJournal, a publication that reports domain sales, for that week. It felt like a pretty incredible accomplishment at the time. Especially when you are unemployed and extra cash is helpful.
Having sold a bunch of domain names this gave me an idea… why not buy a premium domain name for my own business?
At this point in my marketing career I realized I had enough knowledge that I could launch my own online business and make it reasonable successful. I had done the gamut of marketing duties. This includes email marketing, SEO, keyword research, PPC campaigns, etc.
The issue is what should I launch?
The main criteria that I had in my mind were 3 things;
1. The domain should be a category killer .COM - Any company in the space should be envious of the domain name. They should want to work with me just based off the fact I operate a business on this thing. It also MUST be a .com domain. No new domain extensions or country code domains people don't know or care about. Everyone knows ".COM is King!" and all the great companies and brands are build on .acom.
2. Domain should have Backlinks – SEO and link-building takes a lot of painful time. Just go ask any agency or PR agency. Getting and acquiring high quality links from legit news sources is hard, time consuming, and frustrating. I’d rather just purchase a domain name that has existing links.
3. User generated content – Whatever the business was I didn’t want to be 100% responsible for creating all the content. What if I could utilize users to do some of the content work for me?
With these 3 clear criteria in mind I started brainstorming and looking online for business ideas. I needed to know what to look for before I started looking for a domain to buy.
I won’t bore you with all the sh*tty ideas I had, there were so many, but I did eventually have a lightbulb moment. This came when I was searching for a job ON a job board.
“What if I was the job board?”
Boom! I mean how hard could a job board be? You just put it up and people will flock to it right? I would later learn how hard launching a marketplace is… but at least I had an idea now.
Now that I had a good idea of what I needed to look for. I needed a domain name for a job board. The top job boards generally were;
1. Branded terms such as Indeed, Seek, Monster, ZipRecruiter, etc.
2. Keyword focused domains such as FitnessJobs.com, JewishJobs.com, etc.
Being and SEO and domain guy, I obviously went with option 2. I wanted a strong keyword focused domain but also something could be a brand.
Like most people in the domain business I started checking on the major domain marketplaces. Obviously everything there was a bit out of my price range. I started inquiring with some people I know in the domain business. Most didn’t’ have jobs domains or were pigeon shit as Rick Schwartz the domain king would say.
I decided a private owner was what I needed to go for. Also most of the domains domain investors owned didn’t have any backlinks.
I started using SEO tools to do research. One day I found the apple of my eye, GreenJobs.com.
I found the one.
Many people spend their entire lives looking for the one. I find her in about 4-5 months of searching.
GreenJobs.com didn’t resolve but I did see that it was used as a business for a number of years. It had a great backlink profile from news publications such as CBS, CNN, and more. As well as being linked to in a lot of college career centers with those great. EDU domains.
Beautiful backlinks and great domain name. What could be any better?
Now the hard part was actually purchasing the domain name.
To my surprise I was able to get the owner’s email and sent him an email.
Sometimes domain owners of premium domains can be extremely hard to reach. They get hit up all the time.
To my surprise the owner of GreenJobs.com responded in about 1 day.
I explained that I was interested in GreenJobs.com and saw that it wasn’t active and just was going to a DreamHost page.
That week I got on a call with the owner. He was extremely smart Scotsman that was living in California. He had run a solar company in the US before it shuttered due to Chinese competition. He ran a solar consultancy later and they started GreenJobs.com as a somewhat add-on service to that. When he sold the solar consultancy the buyers weren’t interested in GreenJobs.com.
He had retired and ran it until he didn’t want to work on it anymore. He just shutdown the website instead of selling it.
To my surprise he said on the call it had been about 2-3 years since anyone had reached out to him about the domain name. I was kind of shocked.
I explained my situation and that I would be interested in purchasing GreenJobs.com. He told me some of the offers he had in the past and he had used domain brokers before.
We agreed to chat again and I would call him a few days later with an offer. There wasn’t really anyway I could compete with past offers he had received. I did however realize I could appeal to a shared vision for GreenJobs.com.
One company that reached out to him said they just wanted to use GreenJobs.com as a domain forwarder. I remember scoffed at that idea since it was too valuable a domain name to just use as a forwarder. I agreed.
I called him later and explained to him my situation and that I decided NOW was the time to launch a business for myself. I told him how much money I had to try to make the business work and that I GreenJobs.com is an incredible domain name.
If he were to sell me the domain name I would try wholeheartedly to make relaunch and make it work.
I made an offer. To my surprise he accepted.
I used honesty and I bought GreenJobs.com.
GreenJobs.com to New Job
After I acquired GreenJobs.com I put a landing page on it and started collecting emails.
I believe the first few months I had about 500-600 people sign-up just for the waiting list. I thought that was incredible. It was just a page with an email form but GreenJobs.com got type-in traffic. That traffic was incredible valuable and intentional.
When I launched a job board on GreenJobs.com I underestimated many things though. Running a business is hard.
However… starting a marketplace is even harder.
Job boards are marketplaces and you have the classic chicken or the egg issue. What comes first? In this case you need both job seekers and employers talking to each and being happy. Making both sides happy and marketing to both is challenging.
FYI - I did create a course on How to Start a Job Board. I share all the knowledge I learned from running GreenJobs.com and a few other job boards. Visit JobBoardSchool.com to see the course.
I did initially make money but nowhere near as much as I thought. Recruiters and HR are honestly some of the b*itchiest people you can work with. Hiring isn’t a linear process and most companies have different (bad) hiring practices.
From the time that I launched GreenJobs.com I had actually started a new marketing position. Trying to run the job board and do my full-time job became too much.
So I decided to put GreenJobs.com up for sale.
Wasn’t as easy decision… but the dynamics of marketplace were slowly eating away at my mental health.
Thoughts on buying Premium Domain Names
I get asked about buying a premium domain a lot. I even have dabbled with brokering domains. (I find it too time consuming and annoying.)
Buying a domain name can be an exciting and daunting process. There are a lot of variables most people don’t understand.
You are still doing sales and dealing with human behaviors and emotions though.
Here is where most people get making domain offers wrong, completely wrong.
This guy wasn’t stupid he know how much GreenJobs.com was worth. He had run and sold several companies.
Often people reach out to domain owners and tell them how crappy the domain name they own is. Ok, if you think that why are we communicating about it?
Reality is domains have value and if you reached out about it;
1. You know that.
2. You want the domain.
So don’t play games.
Back to the Start
There is an active business on GreenJobs.com or you wouldn’t be reading this.
You might be wondering, “Hey, you said above you put this domain up for sale?” I did for a few years. It made sense at the time.
The domain brokerage firm I worked with was great. Professional and highly regarded. However, we never got any offers that were in a range that let me recoup my initial investment.
The Biden administration announced the Inflation Reduction Act which has already created 100,000 new green jobs and will put an estimated $1.2 trillion into green energy projects.
I also have come back to where I started. With the US economy in a recession, correction, or whatever you want to call it I was unemployed again.
This was the original inception for GreenJobs.com, searching job boards myself.
Is there a better time to relaunch a job board? :)
There is no guarantee that GreenJobs.com will be successful. I am confident it will be this time. I think of the Chess.com founders buying that domain for $55,000 out of bankruptcy. Now it’s a $100 million a year business with 400 employees.
Purchasing a premium domain doesn’t automatically guarantee success. However, I can tell you that it makes it a lot easier.
When I outreach or people contact me I often hear, “Wow, that is an incredible domain name!” People think you are serious just because you own a great domain name.
Authority and trust and built-in to your business.
People that don’t appreciate your premium domain... you don’t want to work with. Full-stop. They will be a PIA. I know from experience.
So how much did I buy GreenJobs.com for? I will only reveal that the day that I sell the business. So better help me make succesful. :)
If you enjoyed this article, please share and let me know your experiences with job boards, searching for a job, domain names, and more.