The StrongMum Project

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My attempts at maintaining my strength and fitness this year have been indisputably more consistent (and as a result, visible in my overall health and weight). I’ve been wanting to write more about what I get up to, but didn’t want to make this blog fitness-focused; it is supposed to be more general/personal than that.

I umm-ed and ahh-ed about creating a dedicated fitness blog, but I inevitably lose interest in spin-off sites within about 3 days of launching them, and I didn’t want to invest valuable time (and obviously money for domains/hosting) in to something I was going to get bored of. However, just ‘out of interest’ I did a WHOIS look-up on the domains I would potentially go for (strongmum.com and strongmum.co.uk, in that order of preference) and discovered that they were registered but expired and currently in the redemption period. I decided to commit to blogging on my local server with the promise that if I maintained momentum until the time the domain registration lapsed, that I would buy a domain and launch.

This worked surprisingly well. I blogged every other day on localhost, and built up a basic WordPress website around my content. However, it soon became evident that my interest in this project wasn’t fading: quite the opposite. I was WHOISing the domains every couple of days even though I knew they weren’t due to expire until the end of this month. I was writing thousand word posts like it was nothing. I have a queue of drafts waiting to be polished and published. I haven’t been this inspired to work on one of my projects since the beginnings of personal blogging (we’re talking nineties – early noughties here!)

I considered e-mailing the owner of the domains to express my interest in buying them, and even paid around $45 for a WHOIS history report to dig up the owner’s contact info from prior to privacy having been applied (you can’t hide anything on the Internet, folks). However, I suddenly got an attack of the Dreaded Cynicisms and decided that the owner might see my interest as a bargaining tool and renew them with the intention of demanding several thousand $$$ for the names. I invested in a dropcatcher to pick up the .co.uk and again, decided to wait.

However, during one of my compulsive WHOIS checking sessions, I noticed that the .com had suddenly changed from 2018 to 2019 expiry. WTF? I shot an email off to the protected contact address in the WHOIS asking if the domain was for sale (expecting no response) but almost immediately after got a reply stating the domain was for sale on GoDaddy auctions for $1300. Fuuuuuuuck.

Now, I’ve spent a lot of money on shit projects that have never gone anywhere, but there was no way I was paying $1300 for a domain for a project I had no immediate intention of making money from. I’m not THAT stupid.

I replied, pointing out that the domain had no history of authoritative content, no traffic, no backlinks. It’s an old domain, but IMO that’s not enough on its own to lend weight to an increased sale price. In addition to that, the “mum” spelling I’d chosen is niche: it’s only used by a portion of the UK and to my knowledge, not used at all in the USA (who favour “mom”). After pointing this out, I wished the seller luck and left it at that, secretly hoping that my apparent lack of interest might work in my favour.

Boom, guy shoots back asking me my best price. I tell him £200, which at the time of writing was $262. He counters with $500, I decline. He doesn’t respond again. He doesn’t respond the next day, or the day after. I figure I’ll wait til his auction expires then again offer £200. In the mean time, I register strongmum.blog as a last ditch fallback.

No need: 3 days later he gets back in touch to tell me he’s dropped the price to $265 (and what’s 3 dollars between friends?) I jump on it, GoDaddy add another years renewal and fees to that, bringing the total purchase price to $336.20 (£264.43). I register basic hosting with Clook for around £60 and a few hours later, the site is live! StrongMum Fitness Blog. Total costs?

  • WHOIS report: $49
  • Dropcatcher: £29
  • strongmum.blog: $16.69
  • GoDaddy: $336.20
  • Clook: £57.04

Converted at time of purchase and totted up, that’s £402.97.

In hindsight I should have gone with my gut and contacted the original owner before it was picked up by someone hoping to make a quick buck off domain reselling, but I think I got away with a bargain by playing hard to get. I will eventually have to monetise the site in some way to make the fees back, but that’s something to think about later on when I’ve built up an nice little stash of content and resources. In the mean time, I get to ramble on about my fitness crap and don’t bore my readers here to tears in the process. Well, no more than usual anyway.

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

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