No matter what you are going to do on the Internet, having a good domain name is always a good thing. Even if you think that you will not have a use for the name if you have an opportunity to get a good domain name, snatch it up! You never know how you will end up using it, and if it’s that good of a name, you can always make money by re-selling it.
In a comment on a recent post, commenter Phil asked me if I owned the name WowPhilippines.com. He said that he sees the name “WowPhilippines” everywhere in the country, from taxis to buses to embassies. How could I possibly own that? Well… I’ll tell you the story.
Back in 2002, the Philippine Department of Tourism started running a campaign called “WowPhilippines” and as Phil said, the name was everywhere. It was on banners and signs all over the country, it was on taxi cabs and anywhere else you can think of. They also advertised on TV with the slogan. The TV ads were run for a worldwide audience, primarily on CNN and on BBC. The commercials were great, and they do still run from time to time, but back then they were running often. I saw the whole campaign and found it interesting, but never paid all that much attention.
When I moved here to the Philippines, I had a number of websites. One of my most popular pages was my General Santos City website (it was on a different URL at that time). From time to time, people would e-mail me through that page and ask me if I could help them get some flowers or another gift to their girlfriend in GenSan. I always agreed to help them, and they would send me the money through Paypal or another service. After this happened a few times, I decided to start up a business on the site to deliver gift items to girlfriends in General Santos. There are so many girls in GenSan who have boyfriends overseas, I figured it would be a natural. After a few months, the business was going so well, I decided to expand the operations to all of Mindanao, and advertised it on my Mindanao website. It took off there too. Not long later, I decided that I needed to expand operations to the entire Philippines. However, I didn’t have a good domain name for the business. I couldn’t do it on Mindanao.com because nobody wanting to order flowers for Manila or Cebu would go to Mindanao.com looking for such a service!
I racked my brain looking for the perfect URL for such a business. I couldn’t come up with a good name though. One night, I was watching CNN on TV, and the WowPhilippines commercial came on. I smiled when I saw it. At the end of the ad, the URL came up for tourism in the Philippines. www.WowPhilippines.com.ph – Hmm, I wondered, do they also own WowPhilippines.com? That’s a good name, after all. I checked, and they did not own it, so I bought it. Funny thing was, I soon discovered that when they would run that TV commercial, a lot of people would come to my site! That’s because when people see a URL, they instinctively go to the .com site. Most people around the world have no idea what “.ph” is (it’s the country domain for the Philippines). So, because of this, I instantly had a lot of traffic, and it was people who were interested in the Philippines too, which was a natural for my business.
A couple of years after I was doing business on the Domain, the Department of Tourism approached me and wanted to buy the domain name from me. I made them an offer, based on the amount of money I was making from the site, but they couldn’t afford it, they said. I’m glad they didn’t buy it because today I am doing a lot more business there than I was when I gave them a price. I would have lost money on the name if I had sold it at that time. These days, it is primarily through that site that I earn my living here in the Philippines.
So, as it is now, the Department of Tourism owns the name WowPhilippines.com.ph. I own the name WowPhilippines.com. We each have great sites. They bring in tourists, and I sell things.
Don’t ever pass up a good domain name!