In 2020, it is estimated that less than 1% of Malaysians have a website. So, why own a website? In this post, I am going to show you the reasons, the risk of not owning your name as domain, the idea of it as a great investment, and how you can DIY in as quick as 1 hour with an affordable cost!
I will start with some of my personal experience, followed by reasons you should not ignore, even if you do not yet have a business idea or plan.
What was my experience with websites and blogs?
In 2012, I built 3 websites from scratch using WordPress CMS in a little over a month. In the 2nd month, it ranked top 3 in Google Search results for few major keywords.
I earned a decent recurring side-income from it for the next 3-4 years, without much maintenance – just issuing invoice every end of the month and had a part-time freelancer conducting WhatsApp follow-ups for conversions.
These websites fetched a decent amount of traffic from Organic Search. In the course of several years later, I have had several offers by clients and investors to buy over the websites. And in hindsight, I could have easily sold any one of it and made a return of >1000% of initial setup cost, not including monthly recurring income…
I am not exaggerating. The figure is not artificial and sensible when calculated against a small initial cost of $90 to start. (more on this at the end of post)
And that’s only just 1 website.
How’s that compared to stock and property investment? I have read somewhere that one can flip 2-3x in stocks (if you are lucky), but you can generate 10x or more in business.
How did I build them, really? Constant learning by doing and testing at the same time. Demand and supply research was one of the few keys to have an edge.
I still do not have HTML or CSS knowledge until today. But you need to have curiosity, a sense for knowledge in digital growth or marketing, and a strong determination.
Once you have traffic to your website or blog, it opens up multiple possibilities for monetization. In today’s language, some are called Affiliate Marketing, Ads Monetization or E-Commerce.
Ok Bart, got your point now, but still, it was 2012, and your one-time story might not apply to me.
Yes, it’s not new anymore that gaining Organic traffic has become harder (but it is not impossible).
Nonetheless, I want to satisfy you with a few reasons I can think of, that a domain name or website is a great investment of this decade.
And it’s not too early even if you do not yet have a business idea, the right set of skill or guidance!
Why You Should Own Your Name as a Domain?
You Own an Asset Online
People know you by your name, and it’s common to search online for more information about you.
But if all you have are social media profiles, or forum profiles like quora, you do not own the online profile.
If you do not own it, you are “renting” a space for its traffic. Just like renting a retail lot in Fahrenheit, Kuala Lumpur but not owning it. You won’t have full liberty to do whatever you want with the presence.
Can you sell the space on your social media page for ads? – nope (and I am not referring to influencers’ sponsored posts)
Can you be sure your contents will not be removed? – absolutely not
And you sure can’t change how your Facebook profile and business page layout even though it bears your name.
Why do one carry a physical name card? It is the same reason, except it’s on the world wide web.
As we are moving more and more towards digitalization, be it on a business or personal level, it is your decision and responsibility to leverage and manage your online presence.
Now that everyone has access to digital media, every person is their own personal brand online.
Portfolio or Personal CV
Along your career, you will have built certain expertise, experience and reputation. All these can be translated into a portfolio or personal online biography that can further boost your value during your job search or even business partnership.
Many photographers or designers use a website as their portfolio and it is much cooler to showcase to your clients or even to job interviewers this way. It makes you stand out by having an online portfolio or biography of your own to point to, rather than only uploading a CV in your email.
Protect your Identity Online
When was the last time you did a search on Google for your own name. You might be surprised with what you will find!
Don’t take my words for it and do a quick search. If there is not much appearing, or probably just your social media profiles, that’s fine. But what if there is awkward history or irrelevant information about you that is not meant for the public?
The bottomline here is taking control of your identity online. Owning your name as a domain will most likely have it displayed as the first result on Search Engine.
Probably the worst is to find a malicious imposter. If it can happen on social media profiles, it can happen on the web, especially if you are famous!
If you want to start now, it’s easier than you think! Skip to the "how"
Your own name is the most unique name that you can possibly still get to register on the Domain Registrar especially for highly demanded “.com” Top-Level-Domain. You don’t own it, until you have registered for it. A domain bearing your unique full name like www.yourfullname.com could have been registered by someone else and you did not know about it.
More so, if you have invested time and money in personal branding for your career or business. It wouldn’t be nice if someone snapped up your name on domain registrar and offered to sell it back to you at a premium (only when you realise you need it).
Why is it still a great potential for Malaysians to own a website in 2020?
- You are still amongst the top 1% of Malaysians to own a website
- Future value of Domain Names
- Low Entry Cost
- Super easy to setup yourself!
You will still be in the top 1% of Malaysians to own a website
As a website owner for 8 years now, I would have thought at least 10% of Malaysians would have somewhat a website online.
But a report from BuiltWith shocked me recently as too how little the numbers are! BuiltWith estimated 27,755 counts of WordPress websites might originate from Malaysia. That’s less than 0.1% of Malaysian population, and 2.7% of assumed 1million of SMEs!
Taking into account the second highest count of Shopify websites which is famous for e-commerce businesses still only adds another 728 – a far reach from total potential e-commerce-to-be.
Future value of Domain Names
Any idea how much can you sell off a domain in the secondary market? A quick sort by lowest actual sales of domain names on Namebio revealed a domain resale value of at least $100.
These are just domain names without a website… no contents… just the name!
It’s difficult to imagine money invested on any random domains would go to waste!
Many have spent time to turn domains into online websites and sold for a fortune.
Have a random look at the bids on Flippa and actual sales on NameBio. A random social media site Voice.com which appears to leverage on Blockchain technology to regain social media transparency back from big tech giants, was sold for $30mil in 2019!
Even starter sites which haven’t reached monetization nor captured revenue are asking for 6 figures on Flippa – this is crazy!
Low entry cost
New domain names are inexpensive, anywhere around $10/year. Discounts are often offered for the first year.
As to hosting websites, one can start with shared hosting which costs anywhere between $80-$120/year.
Both make up a gross average of $10 or less than RM40 per month for unlimited websites. That’s cheaper than a Musing King a month, my friend. 🙂
Business is risky, and it’s much more than just an online presence. But what business asset today has such a low entry cost?
Isn’t RM40 worth it for you?
It’s super easy to set up!
Today it only takes me 1-2 hours to set up a website. It might feel longer to you if it’s your first time, as it is with anything. But it is one of the most important first steps you can take in your life.
You can set it up yourself here with this step-by-step tutorial in less than 1 hour.