Posts Tagged ‘domaining’

BMX Bruce Marler and Facebook

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Along with people like Elliot and Tyler, one of my favorite blogs that combines business with personal details is Bruce Marler’s. His missouri.me site is an inspiration to me as I work on my own geo domain. Mine is a vacation focused domain, so it will be quite different, but one day I’d love to build a consulting and services business around a geo domain in a similar fashion to Bruce.

Anyway, after my last Facebook post, Bruce has assured me that it is well worth building a Facebook presence so I will keep plugging away. But for now I’d like to give a shout out to Daniel Seyde who is my first so-called ‘fan’. Gotta say I hate the word fan in this context, as my Facebook page is about sharing ideas.

You can see how Bruce clarified things for me below. His comments section usually has some thoughtful dialogue so if you have any interest in domaining give his site a look.

@crowdmanage
What I am asking myself is why people would want to drive traffic away from their own blog onto third party Facebook when Facebook doesn’t offer any extra tools to interact with the people that you send there.

You could say that they you will attract new Facebook fans as you will appear in the feeds/on the page of those people, but I don’t see evidence that this networking effect works. Do you?

I am going to be experimenting with Facebook, but so far the site has demonstrated that it is good for connecting to old friends and selling online games that rebill you mercilessly. This idea that you get access to 350m people – does it really work? Maybe more for advertising that organic networking?

One benefit of Facebook.com/missourime is that you get a PR4 back to your site, but Facebook isn’t going to monetize off the back off small SEO-savvy companies using it for link-building.

Bruce Marler
The great thing about fan pages is that you drive people to your website that are fans to see more content, i.e. if a restaurant has a coupon special there is a chance that people are not actively going to the site to look for it, BUT if they are fans they may see a link to it posted to the feed.

On the other side, you can use a link from your site to the fan page to gain fans which means they are interested in your site, then when you post links they are more likely to be driven back to the site even if it was out of their mind.

It works.

(Yes that is Bruce on the BMX!)

Elliot Hunts for Scaleable Margins (but he’s a domainer at heart!)

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Elliot-Silver-ProfitElliot’s Blog has an interesting post today where he states, “it’s better to have many smaller successful sites that require less time and effort than one large one that doesn’t earn enough to make you a living and can’t be scaled.” My perception is that Elliot is trying to move from a high margin business which is tricky to scale (domaining) to one with lower margins (development), which has the challenges of managing outsourcing/hiring to make it scalable . Then, per his post, within development he is trying to find the the best business to scale at decent margins.

There are those that manage to profitably scale domaining (Latona etc.), there are those that manage to profitable scale a single geo-domain, and there are those that live off mini-sites. The margins in each are different, but it is the leaders in each of the markets that make the most money because they have achieved scale. The key is being good enough to scale something!

I think domainers perception of profit is sometimes skewed by the fact that they underpaid for domains and have a lower than market value cost basis. They may think they are solid developers, but their true smarts are in getting domains at the right price. Any truth in that?

I look forward to seeing which path Elliot Silver decides to follow. If you think about it, if an e-book on parrots can make $400,000 per annum isn’t tropicalbirds.com the real goldmine if scaled? Or if you look at the Burbank advertising market size isn’t Burbank.com the site that deserves to be scaled? Or considering the Jewish population worldwide isn’t it Torah.com? Could any one of these domains make millions if scaled?

To me it seems that Elliot’s business model is evolving to value-add domaining, where domains are developed to show their potential and are available for sale on a multiple of future rather than current earnings (tropicalbirds at $45K when it makes dollars a day in AdSense). That in itself could be the business that he can best scale at the highest margins.

Elliot Shares his Crowd

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

elliot-silverFollowing on from my comments yesterday about the open approach of Tyler Cruz, Elliot Silver has outdone him! For over a year now I have been an Elliot’s Blog subscriber, and enjoyed the commentary on the domaining industry. But for me, far and away the most interesting posts have been Elliot’s updates on his development activities.

As a domainer turned developer Elliott has always been very upfront about the limitations of his development smarts (although to look at www.burbank.com you would think he is an expert). His humility pays dividends as you will see from the mass of value-add comments he accrues as high level industry players such as the Castello brothers offer advice. When it comes to  SEO, Elliot will often just fire out a specific question, and I have often made use of the answers in my own SEO activities.

Then today Elliot informed his visitors, “Richard is looking for constructive criticism and some content feedback prior to launching his site.” To me this shows what a powerful resouce the readers of the blog are – that third parties are now seeking to tap their knowledge. I also found the web site that we readers are asked to review very interesting: IHateYourCompany.com aggregates customer feedback to identify companies that fail to deliver on reasonable customer service levels.  With the feedback of Elliot’s crowd I am sure major domainer Richard Whitney’s site will get an early boost.