Where can I find an expert?


Nicholas Rishwain is the VP of Client Relations & Development at Experts.com.  Experts.com was established to allow professionals a platform to showcase their areas of Expertise. Since 1994, they have been providing millions of users worldwide with access to specialized knowledge.

Mike: Nick, what is it that Experts.com does? What service do you provide your customers?

Nick: Experts.com is an online marketing platform for expert witnesses and consultants. We provide a platform for experts to promote their knowledge and intellectual property. Attorneys, businesses, and insurance companies can then search our site for the appropriate expert to fit their needs.


Mike: Can you tell me why you chose the domain Experts.com to represent your brand?

Nick: We wanted a one word domain name that highlighted exactly what we do. Experts are regularly used in litigation and our domain name tells users exactly what we offer: experts in over 1,300 categories of expertise. I should note, we also have a section of expert consultants promoting their activities unrelated to litigation. All expert witnesses can be consultants, but not all consultants can be (or want to be ) expert witnesses. Our site allows Members to promote their expertise for litigation or otherwise.

Additionally, we work with the theme of connecting knowledge to those who are seeking knowledge. So although expert witnesses and consultants are two verticals we work on, our site really goes deeper than that. If you are looking to market your intellectual property, we want you to do so on Experts.com.


Mike: What type of traffic do you see using a premium keyword domain name? Is all that relevant traffic?

Nick: The vast majority of traffic is relevant to the Users who are searching for experts. Users search for experts for a myriad of issues. Not every search, however, is relevant to our Members. Naturally, like many websites, we have many consumer searches in which the user thinks they need to “ask an expert” a question, but really what they need is an answer to a question that a variety of individuals can answer (i.e. local mechanic, local handyman, financial advisor, etc.). The search may be relevant, but they could really ask any number of individuals. They do not necessarily need a qualified expert.

Since we do receive some of this consumer traffic we are developing the ExpertAnswers section. In this section, consumers or small businesses can have their specific questions answered or ideas vetted for a fee.

Searches that are relevant to our Members includes: Attorneys, law firms, academic institutions, governmental agencies, insurance companies, Fortune 500 companies, and media outlets.


Mike: How are you using social media to help promote your site and your service? For example, at the time of this writing you have over 5,000 Twitter followers and seem to be posting quite actively.

Nick: Yes, we are using social media daily to help build brand awareness, understanding, and to help promote the work and knowledge of our Members. We post Member articles, case studies, videos, and more to social media, on a daily basis. These are highly qualified and credentialed individuals whose content can be valuable to a wide variety of readers.

Additionally, we have been involved in the live video / live streaming community from the pioneering stage as we believe it is important for our Members to learn and incorporate social media and live video into their promotional activities. Our YouTube channel has many videos with attorneys and experts brave enough to try live video. Even some who have tried it and told us they have been engaged after a client has watched their video interview.

The world of marketing has changed. Hard-copy marketing publications offer little-to-no value. They are expensive and make for great paper weights. Building relationships and engaging with your audience is the present and future of marketing. We want to lead the way in using these platforms and show our Members the value they offer.


Mike: Can you share how you acquired the name and what you paid for it?

Nick: We acquired the domain name in 2000. We also own a wide variety of other experts domain names. Somewhere between 30 and 40 related domain names.


Mike: What is one thing you learned as the owners of a premium keyword domain name?

Nick: Allow me to have some fun in answering this question. This has more to do with social circles. It’s really funny when people ask you questions about your website… They’ll ask you a dozen questions. You’ll answer them. Then you’ll see them again in the future and they’ll ask the same questions all over again. It’s so simple for them to visit the website and read about it, but they just won’t do it. It is sort of like when someone asks you a question that can easily be answered by searching Google, but they would rather ask you.

So I guess what I’ve learned, is people don’t do much independent research. They know you and the name of your company but they rarely have an idea of what exactly it is that your company does. Our Users and our customers understand, but our family and friends are forever in the dark.


Domain Sales Theme – Genius Idea

Wouldn’t it be great to be in control of your domain sales?  I mean, wouldn’t you like to skip all the commissions and BS that goes along with listing your domain with a 3rd party seller?  What if all of your domains could have their own landing page / sales page?  What if you could point your domains to your own server, choose to receive offers on your domains or list them as “Buy it Now”  and handle the transactions through Escrow.com or Paypal?

Alright, that’s a lot of questions and clearly I am getting to something here.  Meet Ed de Jong, owner of Pixor Media.  I met Ed years ago through DomainBoardRoom.com and have worked with him on many projects.   He’s designed and redesigned many sites for me over the years.  Ed is a talented WordPress developer and one of his recent creations is the Domain Sales Theme. It’s impressive!

Here’s the low down in a nut shell.  The Domain Sales Theme allows you to setup your domain portfolio on a master domain where users can search your inventory.  It also allows you to provide a sales landing page that allows you to take offers or use instant “buy it now” transactions.  If you want, you can even require users to pay a small fee to submit an offer, cutting down on all the non-serious inquiries.  The ability to complete the transactions through Escrow is built into the theme!

I’m in the process of setting this up, but to provide an example, here is a parent domain that’s using the theme.


The page can be customized to suit your needs.   From here, users can view your domain categories by selecting the “Categories” link.


Select a category and view all the names in that category.  Then select the name that interests you.   You’ll be directed to that domain with it’s sales page where you can make an offer.



The beauty of this is that every domain you own can quickly be setup with a stand alone landing page, just by adding it through the main site.  You can get your entire inventory of domain names setup with their own sales pages in no time.  Then you are in complete control.  No brokers or third party platforms to work through.

There are some server requirements you have to work within (VPS or Dedicated hosting with cpanel), but there are several hosting companies that have very affordable hosting plans, such as HostGator.

If you decide to pick up the theme, let me know what you think in the comments or shoot me an email.

Instant Credibility with a Domain Name


After several years working as a building envelope consultant and structural analysis engineer, Liz Lohman co-founded Cubicle.com, the first online store for office cubicles.  Cubicle.com offers free shipping nationwide in 10 business days from the date of your order. It’s is a new and rapidly growing ecommerce business.  Liz took time out of her busy schedule as Partner of Cubicle.com and mother of a new born to answer questions on the power of this domain name.


Mike: Liz, how does Cubicle.com differ from how businesses normally furnish their offices with cubicles?

Liz: When Cubicle.com was founded, the typical cubicle purchasing process could take weeks or months because there was no easy way for a customer to find and specify the products that they wanted for their space. It often involved the customer contacting an office furniture dealership, having them come to the customer’s facility to measure, and then designing the space…all before getting to a quote. Cubicle.com makes the cubicle purchasing process SIMPLE! We provide the customer with a quick and easy way to find the cubicles that best fit their needs, and they are able to purchase directly via our website!


Mike: How did you come to own the domain name? Can you walk us through how you searched out and acquired the name? Can you share what you paid for the name?

Liz:  We really wanted a name that established instant credibility with customers….which is how we got to Cubicle.com. In terms of acquiring the domain, we contacted the owner (based on the domain’s WHOIS information) and negotiated a lease (with an option to buy). We wanted to start out with a lease so that we could test our business model before incurring the sizable expense associated with the domain name purchase. Once we saw that the business model was a success, we decided to purchase the domain outright. In terms of cost, the lease rate was under $1000/month, but the option price was over six figures.


Mike: How has owning the keyword name “Cubicle.com” impacted the business? Could any other name have delivered the same results from type in traffic and Google searches?

Liz:  Owning the keyword name Cubicle.com has definitely positively impacted the business! The largest benefit has been that it provides the business with instant credibility. Customers are often weary of making large-ticket purchases online, so having the Cubicle.com domain name provides them with a higher level of comfort and trust, which leads to a higher rate of conversion.

Of course, the Cubicle.com domain name has also helped with type-in traffic and Google searches. We think that it is the best domain to have if you are in the office cubicle business!


Mike: How much of your traffic do you attribute to type in traffic?

Liz:  A fair amount of our website traffic comes from type-in-traffic. But, we are finding that the vast majority of this traffic is from our past customers, who are remembering our brand and want to order more cubicles!


Mike: What have you found to be the biggest surprise when it comes to running an online business? What is one thing you encountered that you hadn’t anticipated?

Liz:  The biggest surprise to me has been the large percentage of our revenue that comes from past customers who return again and again to purchase more workstations. It’s a good surprise for sure…it means we are doing our jobs and the Cubicle.com customers are happy!


Mike: Aside from having a great domain name, what are some other important factors in running a successful site?

Liz:  One very important part of running a successful e-commerce site is responsiveness. I know that our customers appreciate the fact that we respond quickly to any questions that they may have and are able to provide cubicle quotes in a very short period of time. It gives them more confidence in the online buying process.

The other factor I think is very important is the ability to set expectations regarding your services…being very clear with your customer about what you provide and how you provide it. For instance, when a customer places a Cubicle.com order, we send an order confirmation that states exactly what they ordered, an estimated ship date, and how it will be delivered…that way we are all on the same page regarding the details pertaining to each order.


Mike: There is a competitor with the plural of your domain name and another with the dot net version of your name. How are you able to differentiate and stay ahead of your competition?

Liz:  We attribute a large portion of our success to the fact that we have simplified our business model and focus on doing one thing very well…offering a very high quality, low cost cubicle solution with unmatched customer service!

We are one of the few cubicle sites out where you can actually purchase cubicles online without having to wait for a quote. This allows our customers that know exactly what they want to go ahead and purchase…no delays waiting for someone to get back to you!

For our customers who do want a quote, we are able to get quotes put together for customers in a matter of hours (often within the same hour) from when our potential customer contacts us.

We are always striving to meet the expectations set with our tagline: Quick & Easy Cubicles for Less!


Mike: What methods do you use to promote the website?

Liz:  We are constantly working to maximize the quality and quantity of our site traffic. This work is a combination of organic optimization, PPC, and always being on the lookout for new digital marketing technologies that will provide a benefit to our customers and lead to more sales for Cubicle.com.

Dresses.com – 70% type in traffic


Tor Sweeney is an attorney and entrepreneur.  He owns Dresses.com, a site built on a keyword domain that manufactures and sells dresses online.  Tor is also the husband of one of my past interviewees, Deborah Sweeney of MyCorporation.com.   Tor took a few minutes of his time to answer some questions for me about Dresses.com.


Mike:  Tell me about Dresses.com.  How long have you been in business and how does the business work?  Is it as simple as picking out a dress and clicking on it?


Tor:Dresses.com went online in 1999 and we have always been a direct to consumer play.  We do the designs, we manufacture, we develop the site and we work directly with the customers.  We manufacture and ship out of our factory in Los Angeles.



Mike:  Dresses.com is a category killing domain name.  Tell me how you acquired the name.  Are you willing to share what you paid for it?


Tor: I bought the domain name back in 1999 as I was graduating from law school.  My family has a clothing manufacturing company and I thought this would be a great way to evolve the business. I purchased back then for a few thousand dollars and my friends/colleagues thought I was crazy!



Mike:  How much of your traffic comes from users directly typing in the domain as opposed to searching for “dresses” or other keywords?


Tor: About 70% of traffic comes from the domain directly – we don’t have to purchase the keywords as much any longer.  The domain name is pretty valuable in and of itself.




Mike:  Is this a one man show or do you have others that help run the business with you?


Tor: I have a team of people I work with.  We manufacture in-house, so I also have sewers, cutters, etc.  We have different domains that support our dresses.com URL (prom-dresses.com, etc.).




Mike:  Dresses seem to be the type of item a woman would want to try on before purchasing.  Do you see this as an issue for Dresses.com or is this not a real barrier?


Tor: Women do like to try on dresses, but our clothing was historically selling via different catalogs.  We know how to manufacture and design dresses that are more suitable for varied shapes and sizes.  We also provide guidance on sizing.  We also sell quite a bit in markets that are not as close to great shopping outlets – the Midwest, for example.  Our customers are used to ordering online and we have a liberal exchange policy too, so it all works out.



Mike:  As the owner of a premium, keyword domain name, do you feel the value of the name has delivered for you?  Would you recommend a keyword domain to others starting a new business?


Tor: Yes, the domain has delivered on its value for us.  While they are hard to come by, a keyword domain is valuable on so many levels.



Mike:  What do you find has been the most challenging, unexpected aspect of running an online business?


Tor: Competing with the big guys in an online search game is very difficult.  The playing field used to be more level, but now that the 800lb. gorilla can outspend a smaller business any day, having a generic/keyword domain can make all the difference.

What’s on Your Bucket List?


Miika Hakala is the founder and CEO of BucketList®, an online community focused on helping people fulfill their bucket lists.

Miika originates from Ostrobothnia in Finland, a place where communal work has been a necessity for as long as it’s been inhabitable. The idea of working together has been taken online to create a crowdsourced community focused on helping people achieve their life goals.

Currently Miika and his team are working on a BucketList app and on updating the user experience of the site.


Sully:  Is BucketList.net a place for people to record their bucket lists or is there more to it than that?

Miika:  Creating a bucket list and defining dreams as achievable goals is naturally a big part. So to that end the community also shares bucket list ideas, sort of the “best of the best” of what the world has to offer.

Once listed users can share their goals with the community and get help from friends and fellow “buckaroos”. Users can also post “swap requests” to swap favors with other users.

In time we’d also like to put more focus on communal goals like stopping deforestation etc.


Sully:  Where did this idea come from?  What drove you to make it happen?  Was it on your bucket list?

Miika:  The idea is sort of a mesh of concepts form different sources. Bringing together the concepts of

– a list of life goals (bucketlist)

– helping others (pay-it-forward)

– greater good (crowdsourcing)

What drove me to develop the site, was a close call for a “Darwin Award” …or so I like to think of it 🙂

One of my top goals is to “be a hero”. Now the title may be a bit misleading, but it’s basically just to be the best person I can be. Matthew McConaughey described it pretty well in his Oscar acceptance speech.


Sully:  Let’s talk about the domain name.  You have bucketlist.net.  The dot com is a parked page and the .org is occupied by another site.  Are you concerned about the eventual use of the dot com or the current use of the .org?

Miika:  Naturally it’s a concern, but we have key social media accounts (@bucketlist on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) and we have a registered US trademark. So we’re working with what we have and doing our own thing.


Sully:  Were you the first to register the name or did you buy it on the after market?  If so, can you talk about the purchase process?

Miika:  I wasn’t the first to register the domain and if I remember correctly I got it at a GoDaddy auction. Some people collect stamps, I collect domains.


Sully:  What kind of traction has the site gained?  How many visitors do you get?

Miika:  The traction thus far has been somewhat seasonal, around New Year we can see a peek. Whereas summers may be more quiet. Now we have about 20k visitors per month.


Sully:  What’s the business model behind the site?  How do you generate revenue?

Miika:  The idea is that users could find products and services (like skydiving, travel, etc.) through our site and we would get a small sales commission from these services. With limited or no funding, it’s taking longer than expected to validate this model.


Sully:  Anything else you’d like to add?

Miika:If you have something dreamy or bucketlist worthy to share, give us a shout and mention @bucketlist on Twitter or Instagram. We’ll pass it along to other Buckaroos 🙂