Entries in domain industry (11)


Staying Afloat in 2011

As domain income gets tighter and tighter people are looking for creative ways to fund their domain portfoilo expenses. There were a couple of really good articles in the past month that gave people tips on how to do this.

Rick Schwarz posted an excellent article on his blog giving newbie domain investors advice on how to start in this business. This was one of the meatier articles I've read from "the king" and I recommend it to both beginners and seasoned domain investors.  Rick provides 36 tips, starting with

1.     You are planting a SEED not buying a domain name.

2.     You are staking a claim not buying a domain name.

3.     Seeds take time to germinate, mature and bear fruit

4.     You are planting trees not grass.

5.     This is a 5 year plan

Read the rest of his tips here.

Rob Monster of Epik gave us examples of six people using his service and their strategy for developing domains. These models can be applied to platforms such as WhyPark and SmartName in addition to Epik.  Monster tells the story of the following people:

The Empire Builder – Kenny Hartog
The Merchant – Oliver Hoger
The Stager – Morgan Schwartz
The Gardener – Todd Johnson
The Prospector – Aaron Wilkenson
The Bandit – Braden Pollock

Read more of what he has to say on his blog.



Verify your Parking Stats with DNWStats

How can you prove your traffic stats are legitimate to a potential domain buyer?  Andrew Allemann's new DNWStats service will log into your parking stats and retrieve the data.  It will then publish a certificate certifying the traffic.  The service currently works with DomainSponsor, NameDrive, Parked, Sedo (but not SedoPro), and Skenzo.  

DNWStats is free-of-charge.  At some point the service will offer premium services, and they reserve the right to charge for the service in the future.  The only down side I can see is that you enter your parking company credentials in the site.  They claim not to store the information, and I certainly trust Andrew in this; but it's always risky entering logins into other accounts.

That said, the service provided by DNWStats is an important one.  This is the first cross-platform service to verify stats and provide the information (with your permission) to potential buyers.  You have control over whether a certificate is private or public.  Try it with a few of your domains and see how easy it is to create a certificate.


Time to renew your Domain Names


Verisign has announced a domain price increase effective July 1 - and your registrar is also increasing its prices. The registration, renewal and transfer fee for .COM domains will increase from $6.86 to $7.34 and the .NET annual fees will be increased from $4.23 to $4.65 If you can afford it, renew as many your domains now.  

As an example, here are eNom's planned increases:

                  OLD Pricing   New Pricing
PREMIER           $7.95        $8.50
VOLUME            $8.95        $9.50
BASIC                 $9.95       $10.50
ALTERNATIVE  $10.95     $11.50

GoDaddy announced a 7% price increase for .com and a 10% increase for .net.  Their current retail price for .com is $10.69,  so a 7% increase means you will probably be paying $11.44.   





ParkLogic - Domains as Investments

Michael Gilmour is serious about domain name investing.  You've probably seen his blog and heard him speak at domain conferences.  His vision for domain names involves treating them as objective investment vehicles - similar to stocks and bonds.  He has developed a platform at ParkLogic.com that allows owners of major domain portfolios to tightly analyze the performance of their domains and make solid financial decisions based on clearly presented charts and metrics.  

The platform also optimizes domain parking income by testing at different services and parking where it earns the most.  ParkLogic upgraded their platform before the recent DOMAINfest Global conference and the new platform is solid and scalable - running on SalesForce.com.  

ParkLogic claims to offer:

Credible, standardised metrics – a core foundationto revenue maximising decisions is transparent and meaningful performance data within and across monetisation options.

  • End-to-end metrics – in an industry with widely varying definitions, we provide standardised data and metrics from raw traffic data to ultimate revenue:
    • raw traffic data, Geo IP tracking, standard unique definition and traffic health for monetisation;
    • traffic acceptance and monetisation data by monetisation path.
  • Normalised data sets:
    • traffic data matched to monetisation data to provide true, end-to-end RPM and related metrics.
  • Consolidated reporting and payment aggregation

You can actually view how each domain looks when parked at 8 different parking companies - but you can't get stats that compare these companies one to another.  That's a conscious decision that Michael has made to keep all parties (including the parking companies) happy with the service.  There are opportunities to monetize with niche second tier monetization solutions that may actually pay more than Google or Yahoo in certain niches.  Almost all of these features can be set on auto-pilot or you can tweak to your heart's content.

Micheal claims that over 350,000 domains use his service.  It is clearly targeted toward large domain owners - whose domains earn over $15,000 a month.  (Count me out.)  He does make exceptions.  There is no affiliate program and ParkLogic personally vets all applicants to assure that they are not sending fraudulent traffic.  

You pay Micheal between 5 and 10% of your gross revenue for use of the platform, operational services, and analytics & reporting.  The platform has techniques to detect revenue leakage (from sources such as improperly set nameservers).  For an additional 5% you can have your entire portfolio professionally managed and optimized.  

You can request an account via email from a link on the site, or be recommended by a current user.  There is zero tolerance for fraud, and you should expect a phone call to chat and verify your information.

I know that a few of my readers have portfolios that qualify for ParkLogic.  Most of us probably don't.  If you are earning good income from your domain portfolio, but don't feel like you are really on top of the numbers, then you should consider ParkLogic.  


Big Changes at NameMedia

NameMedia has made a big change in their parking strategy.  It appears that they have sold the GoldKey.com domain name and they are converting most domain owners to their formerly high-end SmartName service.   If you parked domains at GoldKey or ActiveAudience you have probably received an email asking you to change nameservers on your domains.  SmartName is known for innovative services such as their SmartName shops.  These instant ecommerce destination sites monetize through non-traditional services (such as Shops.com) and they also allow you to include your own AdSense ads on the pages. 

SmartName has also announced new content options for sites parked there.  They have a new blog-like content system that allows domain owners to create content-filled web sites on their domains in an automated manner. The sites pull in external news and blog feeds to create a unique web that may even rank in search engines. The sites are monetized by PPC ads, and like their shops, the domain owner cah add their own PPC ads.

Your old GoldKey or ActiveAudience logon should work with the new SmartName system.  There is a learning curve involved in their new system - but I am planning to start learning.