Four Characteristics of Highly Effective Tech Leaders

Mark Zuckerberg - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009

Hollywood has always had a way of glamorizing and rewriting any reality into a two hour entertaining story that captivates us all.  We’ve seen it with biographies and historical portrayals of sports figures, political leaders, musicians and more.  There’s no reason it should be any different for technology leaders.  While watching The Social Network, I couldn’t help but draw some similarities between the Mark Zuckerberg character and that of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs from the late 90’s film, Pirates of Silicon Valley.  Is Hollywood telling us entertaining stories or providing the characteristics of what it takes to be successful?

Four Characteristics of Our Tech Leaders (according to Hollywood):

Be young – One must be a massive success by late teens or early 20’s.  I mean let’s face it, if you can’t be a billionaire before you can legally order your first beer, you might as well hang it up.  I’d even suggest dropping out of college to focus on your first billion.  That formal education will really just slow you down.

Have a superiority complex – It also helps to be better than everyone else.  Our technology heroes, as portrayed in the movies, each had a chip on their shoulder.  Mark clearly outclassed his girlfriend and partner and college classmates, Steve worked people to the edge of sanity and then called them worthless, and Bill was always one move ahead of Steve.

Steal Ideas – This is key.  There is no way to be successful at the billionaire level without stealing the whole foundation of your business from someone else.  It all starts with a good idea… someone else’s good idea.  Mark got his idea from two former college classmates, Steve got his idea from Zerox, and Bill… well Bill took the idea from Steve.  All is fair in love and technology.

Be Deceptive – Stealing the idea alone is not enough.  After tricking your trusted friends or business partners into giving you their great ideas, you must then avoid contact with them as much as possible.  It helps to lie, tell them you’re busy, or down play exactly what you are doing with the idea.  This one comes naturally, it seems.

I have to admit, I love a good movie.  With all that goes into writing a good script, convincing actors, award winning production and direction, it’s easy to see it as real.  As the credits roll, remember that it’s a movie.  Movies may be based in facts, but they are seldom the reality.

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How Important Is a Head Shot?

If you visit Domaining.com on a regular basis, like I do, you can’t help but notice that many of the bloggers featured have a picture of themselves next to their headline.  Back when I started, I submitted my site’s logo to go along with headlines, as many other bloggers have done as well.  I was recently wondering which is better?  While I think a logo is a good direction to go if you are looking to brand a business, a head shot makes more sense for personal branding.  I have a legal entity in place to backup any of  my business deals, but I blog as an individual and write about my experiences.  So then, does it make sense to feature a head shot as opposed to my logo?  What do you think?


Domain Bloggers

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Traffic or Bust

While the rest of the domain world is heading off to Domainfest, I just picked up my early bird ticket to Traffic in October.  Rick sent out an email blast last night and also posted about the remaining early bird tickets on his blog this morning.  You might recall, one of my goals for this year is to attend at least one major domain conference.  I already have a week long obligation in February that conflicts, so Domainfest Santa Monica is out of the question for me.  I think I am the only one on the planet not attending.

I’m looking forward to attending Traffic and meeting many of the people I’ve talked to and interacted with over the past year.  While interacting with people online via forums, blogs and emails, there is nothing like a gathering of great minds.  If you are looking for some encouragement, something to nudge you into attending a show, have a look back at this post where I asked Rick, Elliot, Michael Castello, and others about why you should attend a domain conference.  October is a long way off, but it will be here before you know it.  If you decide at some point that you’re going to attend Traffic, let me know, maybe we could meet up.

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The Packers Already Have One Up On The Bears

Looking forward to Sunday’s big NFC Championship game between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers, it should be known that Packers are favored… at least from a domain perspective.  Hey, I was born and raised in Chicago so I’m a Bears fan by default.  The Bears and Packer fans have an unprecedented rivalry.   But the official Packers site can be found at Packers.com.  If you go looking for the Bears at Bears.com, you’ll end up with some cute tee shirts on a Zazzle backed site.

Alright, so someone beat them to Bears.com.  Understandable, it happens.  The official site is ChicagoBears.com, so not a bad second choice.  But if I was an NFL team, I might want to look into acquiring that sweet Bears.com domain, and maybe a few other related names.  How about TheBears.com?  That’s currently a parked page with a “this domain may be for sale” link at the bottom.

Some people say that those from Chicago have an accent.  While that’s not true, and no one from the Midwest has an accent, everyone else does, sometimes the team is referred to as Da Bears.  That said, DaBears.com is also owned and operated as what appears to be a fan site, with whois privacy in place.

Good luck to the Bears on Sunday, I’ll be rooting for ya.

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What should I do with Bells.org

A few weeks back, I picked up bells.org on the drop.  I grabbed it because it’s a short  keyword domain name with a decent exact global monthly search volume of 27,000 and cpc of .49 cents, depending on where you look.  I haven’t owned, developed or sold any .org names in the past, but I couldn’t resist this one after seeing it on Shane’s drop list.  Now that I’ve had it and tossed around a few ideas, I’d like to ask you what your thoughts are.  Here are a few things I am thinking of, but open to suggestions.

1.  Flip it

Initially, I was thinking I should just sell the name.  There are plenty of companies by the name of “Bell” or “Bells,” not to mention family surnames.  It could make a cool short email address if nothing else.  I think it’s worth more than I paid for it.

2.   Develop it

I’ve been interested in setting up an e-commerce / drop ship site and this might be a good one to start with.  There are a couple of options here.  First, there are those huge bells you see in parks and churches.  I’m sure those suckers are pretty expensive (and tough to ship).  Another option could be smaller bells, hand  bells, collectible bells, and electric bells.  I haven’t done any drop shipping before, so finding a good partner may be difficult.  Another challenge here is that .org has historically been used for not-for-profit organizations.  This is changing and there is a push from Public Interest Registry, the official manager of .ORG, to raise brand awareness as I reported back in July.  Another favorable fact is the success Morgan Linton has had with kayaking.org (although I don’t know the specific figures).

3.  Hang on to it

There’s always the option of just hanging on to the name for future use.  Be it for investment or for future development.  Seems like a safe option, but not too much fun.

4. Build a mini site on it

I have also though about just developing a few pages of content and working on some pay-per-click ads.  I need to experiment more with this type of monetization and I’d expect this domain to rank fairly well.

What would you do if you had this domain?  One of the options above or something else?  Let’s assume dropping it is not one of the options I’m looking for here.  I’m look forward to your comments on this one.  Whichever direction I go, I’ll blog about it along the way.

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Social Networking Perks and a Thank You

Today was a strange day at Sully’s Blog.  The site when down twice for two unrelated reasons.  First, a file was corrupt and prevented some pages from loading and then there was a strange server load that caused the hosting company to temporarily take the site off line.  But who really cares about my server issues?  All is resolved now, and aside from having a couple of people to thank for getting me back in action so quickly, there is also a lesson here.

First, social networking pays off in many different ways.  The are obvious reasons such as being a great outlet for micro promoting your business or just staying in touch with firends.  But there are other great reasons as well.  In my case, I have a loyal reader, @notoffline, to thank for alerting me to a problem with my site.  I received a tweet this morning tipping me off.  Because the main page was up, but not other pages, I may not have otherwise known for hours.  For this reason alone, it pays to network and to be active in your network of connections.

Second, a big THANK YOU to Michael Sumner of DN Media, my “go to” guy when I have an issue that needs to be resolved.  I encourage you to check out his work at MiniSites.com and see what you can do with your domains.

Remember to sign up for the newsletter to be eligible for the Scarves.com drawing.

http://minisites.com
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I’m giving away ideas, and a domain… like ’em or not

I’ve got so many ideas about business ventures that I’d like to try, there is no way I will get to them all.  It’s challenging enough to manage the few things that I do.  To get some of these things off my mind and help me focus, I’d like to offer them up to anyone who would like to take them… or leave them.  This is the first idea I’ll be sharing this year, but I expect to unload several others.  My goal here is to provide something of value, inspire additional thinking, and potentially to put ideas in the hands of people that will execute on them.

A while back, I registered 69Dollars.com when I had a thought about a development idea.  We’ve all let domains drop in the past and often times these domains are scooped up again.  Companies like Namejet, Pool, and Snapnames typically start the bidding for these names at $69.    Sometimes $69  might be the highest bid while other times it ramps up into the thousands of dollars.  As a result, the prior owner gets zero.

My thought was to offer domainers a place to list their domains that they are not planning to renew.  All domains would be listed at a flat fee of $69.  Maybe a buck or two from each sale would go to the house.  There would be some rules set up such as how close to the expiration date the domains need to be listed as well as other rules.  I just haven’t thought it through that far.  My idea is to keep it simple, fair, and not turn it into anything too complex.

The main idea is to put an opportunity in front of the drop process.  This would save buys some money and the prior domain owner could make a few bucks on the drop as well.  Now there are some registrars such as Fabulous (and Fabulous may be the only one) that will share some of the revenue with the prior owner of the domain, but most do not.

If you’re interested in picking up this idea, I’ll push the domain to you for free at Moniker.  If you like the idea and not the domain, then take the idea.  Don’t like either?  That’s fine too.

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A Creative Idea for Selling Domains

I’m always trying to come up with new ways to sell domains or reach potential buyers.  Like most domainers, I’ve tried Craigslist, eBay, the domain auction sites, end user emails, forums, etc.  I have  had good success with some, and limited to no success with others.  I was pondering new ways to reach people when I came up with a thought.  Why not buy advertising space on one of your favorite blogs.

Let me back up here a little bit.  I’ve seen some domainers with large portfolios advertise on Domaining.com.  They use the sponsored headline section and get some great exposure.  In fact, earlier this week, Jamie from DotWeekly.com posted some of his names there in the sponsored headline section.   But let’s say you have a single name you’re looking at selling or you don’t have the budget to advertise on Domaining.com.  Maybe a domain blogger can help.

Bloggers can make some money by selling advertising space on their sites.  Often times, there are available spaces that are filled with affiliate banners until a paid advertiser comes along to replace them.  Herein lies the opportunity.  Why not reach out to your favorite blogger and purchase one of those available advertising slots for a month (you may even be able to strike a deal for a lower rate if the space isn’t currently rented).  Be sure to check the blogger’s advertising page to see if there are currently any available spots.  Some bloggers may have a waiting list and usually indicate their rates or if there ad slots are full.

I can’t promise that all bloggers will be open to this idea, but why not try it (some bloggers might even cringe at the thought of this).  It could work out to be less than the commission you’d pay using a broker or an auction site.  Prices range from site to site, so you probably don’t want to sell a  crappy domain if the rate is greater than the value of you name.  You’ll also need to design the banner, which is typically pretty easy these days.  But don’t expect the site you’re advertising on to supply the banner.  I also don’t want to come across as trying to push this idea purely as a way for me to make money, so I am removing myself from the eligible pool of bloggers.  To be partial, I will not participate in this idea at least over the next 6 months.

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The Model T, 8 Tracks, and WWW

Interviewing so many end users, a couple of things have come to my attention.  First there are some people out there with a great understanding of the power of domain names.  Second, there are way more people that still reference “www” in their domain names in normal conversation and in business than I would have expected.  There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that, but it just seems a little out dated to me.  More of a personal preference.

I can remember television commercials in the 90’s and early 00’s that would reference “http://” as part of the full name.  The announcer would rattle off “h-t-t-p colon forward slash forward slash w-w-w….”  Thankfully we have moved away from that, but people are still vocalizing the “www” when it’s just not necessary.  Sure, some people include that as part of their domain name in many cases.  I still come across the occasional site that doesn’t load without the “www” and I think that’s a poor decision.

In my opinion, referencing www is like sort of like announcing the “1” in front of a phone number.  Not really a big deal, but not necessary.  Technology, particularly the Internet, moves fast.  It’s important to keep up with things so you don’t come across as technically challenged.  I realize this post is shorter than normal, but my acoustic coupler modem, picture below, is acting up.

domain investing

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Rick Schwartz, Rob Monster, The Castello Brothers… A Great Year

With the year coming to a close, I decided to take a look back on my first year blogging.  It’s been an interesting time for me.  I’ve met some great people, many within the industry as well as end users and business owners in several different areas.  I’ve share the lessons these people have taught me and a few lessons I learned on my own.   Here are some highlights:

Industry Professionals

Rick Schwartz – Rick answered some questions for me.  I was quite impressed with what he had to say and his ability to articulate his thoughts on domaining.

Rob Monster – I had a great conversation with Rob.  He’s an intelligent and forward looking man with a vision.  I’m looking forward to seeing what Epik brings in the coming year.

The Castello Brothers – Michael and David are legends in the business.  If you haven’t read this one, I’d highly recommend having a look.

End Users

Don Cole – Dan is the owner of shower-curtains.com and I liked this interview because it truly illustrated the value of hyphenated domains.

Deborah Sweeney, is CEO of MyCorporation Business Services, Inc.  Not only does her company use a great key word domain, but Deborah provided some great advice in this interview.

Peter Leeds is the owner of PennyStocks.com.  I was particularly impressed with Peter’s ability to capitalize on Adsense.

Joe Schodowski owns Shelving.com.  The great thing about this interview is that Joe explains that it takes more than just a great name to succeed.  You need to back it up with some effort.

Books

Delivering Happiness – The story of Zappos.  A favorite of mine.

The Domain Game – If you read a single book on domaining, this is the one.  It’s not a “how to” but will give you a great history and perspective on the industy.

Light-heartedness

Five Ways a Domain is Like a Woman – Of course there are more than 5, but you have to start somewhere.

10 Reasons Why You Need a Break From Domaining – Of course there are more than 10, but you have to start somewhere.

Advice

Three Reasons Your Domains Aren’t Selling

101 Tips for New Domainers

I’m looking forward to another great year of interviews, information and discussion in 2011.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas to everyone.  I realize not everyone celebrates Christmas, so what ever your holiday happens to be (or may have passed), I hope it is enjoyable.   Sully’s blog has officially been up for a year now, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.  I hope you have too.  I look forward to bringing you some more information from end users of domain names and how they are running their online businesses, sharing my perspectives and experiences (good and bad).

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Exclusive: Domain Blogger Holiday Party Revealed

The holidays are a time of happiness and celebration.  This year I called up a few of my blogging buddies and we got together for a little holiday fun.  I’m not going to name any names, but you may recognize them in the footage below.  I’m not too sure they would want this footage to get out, but we’re amongst friends here, right?  You should see the New Years Party.

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Domain Goals for 2011

I’m a firm believer in setting goals (as opposed to New Year’s Resolutions). Publicly announcing my goals is something new to me, but I imagine it will only help me to fulfill them because I know I can count on you to hold me accountable. It will also give me an opportunity to post updates on my progress and measure them throughout the year. If any of them sound good to you, feel free to join me. I’ll help hold you accountable too.

1. Reduce my portfolio to approximately 100 names at any given time, plus or minus 10%
This may sound counterproductive to some, but I’m finding a portfolio of several hundred difficult to manage. I’m not focusing enough time any any one thing, but instead, constantly reviewing the list. This goes hand in hand with my second goal for the upcoming year.

2. Improve the quality and value of my portfolio
While I reduce the size of my portfolio, I am going to focus on higher quality names. Less hand regs and more aftermarket names. I’m going to maintain logical thinking and not buy domains without doing some research. No more shooting from the hip and knee jerk purchases. I have a good story as to how this bit me in the ass in the past and I will probably share more details this coming year.

3. Develop 5 profitable sites
I don’t think this is too lofty of a goal… but maybe I’m wrong. I’ve enjoyed reading the successes of others who have developed sites this past year. I’m thinking this gives me over two months to develop a domain. TeenDomainer did one over a weekend for God’s sake, how lazy can I be? I want to focus building 5 quality and profitable sites, so I don’t want to rush this. Besides, there are plenty of other demands on my time, so just trying to keep everything in perspective.

4. Attend a domain conference
I won’t be at DomainFest in February, so I’m getting off to a bad start with this one. Maybe I’ll shoot for T.R.A.F.F.I.C. in the fall, or something in between.

5. Increase my contribution to the domain industry
I don’t yet have this one figured out. Maybe it will be answering more questions, posting more of my experiences, I’m really not sure yet. But I’ll find a way to contribute more to those who have a passion around domain name investing and developing.  For starters, feel free to connect with me on Twitter or my personal page on Facebook.

Have any domain goals of your own for the upcoming year?  Post a comment with what you’re hoping to achieve.

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3 Things NOT To Say In a Domain Sales Letter

It’s great to find sample sales letters that other domain owners use when selling to end users.  Some are excellent and can be used in almost every situation.  Others, are poorly written and ineffective.  I’ve noticed some trends in the letters I have received and it amazes me that the authors of these emails don’t see this as obvious.  I thought I’d pass these along in case anyone else is using these strategies or would like to debate their effectiveness.

3 Things Not to Say in a Domain Sales Letter

1.  I was going to develop this domain, but I currently don’t have time.

Really?  The domain is that good that you’re asking $xxx to $x,xxx and you don’t have time to develop it?  I understand that you don’t want to say, “hey I bought this and I’m looking to flip it,” but saying you don’t have time to develop it sounds more like “it’s not a good name and I’m trying to sell it.”  Try something like “This no longer fits into our business model for development”  to sound a little more professional about the transaction.

2.  This domain is better than the one you are currently using.

Ok, I’d like to sell you this domain, but first let me slap you in the face.  The fact may be that you do have a better domain you are offering, but stating that bluntly isn’t going to impress your potential buyer.  Instead, use data and bullet points that clearly outline the metrics you are trying to get across.  Let the buyer read this and easily come to the same conclusion that you would like to scream out loud.

3.  Here’s a link to (insert your favorite online appraisal tool) that shows this domain is worth $8,000.

While we all know the uses and limitations of automated appraisal tools, to an end user that is not apart of the domain industry, it will come across looking like a scam.  Most people have never heard of these, and if they have, they likely know that they have their limitations.  Anyone could quickly build a page that says their domain is worth any amount of money.  If an end user isn’t familiar with the tools you’re linking to, that’s exactly what they’ll think you did.  They’ll interpret it as a scam.

It’s the little things you can do to tweak your emails to make them more effective.  Words have the ability to influence or deter, so use them wisely and achieve the greatest impact.  If you have any good sales emails you use or have received and would like to share them, send them to me and maybe I’ll post them.  If you have one you’d like critiqued, send it as well.

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Are we in the second push for .CO?

There is no doubt that when .CO was launched, it had tons of support and a pretty big push. It’s only an “m” away from .com. Many domainers saw this as a chance to grab the some of the generic gems that were already snatched up in the .Com market. As I continue to talk to end users, I’m finding that many of them also see this as the opportunity to grab some keyword domains that support their line of business as well.

As reported by The Domains a couple of days ago, GoDaddy will be airing a 30 second SuperBowl commercial to feature the .CO TLD.  That’s a pretty big deal.  GoDaddy is a huge name in the consumer market and a SuperBowl commercial endorsing a TLD is going to have some influence.  Additionally, I noticed that Network Solutions has once again bumped .net for .co when searching for domains.  This time, they even draw a little more attention to it with an info balloon.

Network Solutions

I haven’t invested much in .CO up to this point, but it’s worth considering.  If you hold an interest in a particular area, it  might not be a bad idea to check for those names before the SuperBowl.  Sure many of the great .CO names have been snatched up, and it’s still a country code TLD, but there are still many available and it’s picking up some traction.  I’m not suggesting you sink a fortune into the TLD, but maybe think about one or two you’d like to add to your collection if you haven’t already.   I’m still not totally bought in to it, but if you’ve been on the fence, now is probably a good time.  Besides, it pays to diversify.

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Why You Need To Focus on Bounce Rate

If you’re a developer, you need to be concerned about bounce rate.  Not to get into a debate over the meaning of the term “developer,” but let’s just use the term loosely to define any domain owner that creates or owns content on a site.  I would like to exclude parked pages or sites dependent purely on advertising links, but they too could be taken into consideration in the scope of things.

Wikipideia defines bounce rate as “the percentage of initial visitors to a site who bounce away to a different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the same site.”

Google Analytics defines Bounce Rate as “the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.”

Bottom line, bounce rate scores your site based on how many visitors leave your site after seeing the first page.

If I have a parked or advertisement driven page, I would probably expect a high bounce rate.  I want people to be clicking on those advertisements and generating income for me.  However, if I have a site with legitimate content or an online store, I want a lower bounce rate.  If people are leaving my site after viewing the first page, that’s a problem.

This becomes more important if a site is leveraging advertising campaigns and specific landing pages.  If a landing page has a high bounce rate,  there are one of two problems at work. First, the landing page may not be captivating enough for visitors.  If the page is lame, they will click away.  A solution is to set up multiple landing pages and test their effectiveness.  If the landing page isn’t the problem, it may be that the advertising efforts are capturing the wrong market.  When the visitors get to the site and realize it’s not what they were expecting, they’ll click away, costing the site owner money on wasted pay per clicks.

Regardless if a site is using paid advertising or just organic search results, keeping a close eye on bounce rate can make the difference between return visitors with multiples sales and wasted money and equally as bad, wasted effort.

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The New MySpace… Do you care?

I just received A notification from MySpace on the relaunch. Do I care… so far, not really. MySpace was once a popular social media platform, especially among the younger crowd. While it still receives a ton of traffic, it’s nothing like it once was at it’s peak of popularity. I never personally had a MySpace page, and at the moment, I don’t intend to.

I say “at the moment” because there was a time when I thought Twitter was just plain stupid. A short blurb of text, how important can that be? I now understand Twitter as a key communication and marketing tool when used properly. Who am I to say that MySpace won’t make a comeback? Some will embrace the change, some will resist. Others, like me, will just wait it out and see what happens.


Presenting the new Myspace

Myspace | Myspace Video

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10 More Great Keyword Domains in Action

Here are some more great examples of keyword domains being used intelligently.  Business that understand the value of a keyword domain are at an advantage over those that do not.  Keyword domains rank well with search engines and the businesses also benefit from a high percentage of direct navigation or type-in traffic.  Companies large and small can take a lesson from this list.

  1. Laces.com goes to CustomPins.com
  2. tvProtectors.com loads tv-armor.com
  3. Buckets.com goes to Plastican.com, maker of plastic buckets
  4. Charms.com to Tootsie.com
  5. Jumping.com is the site for All American Trampoline & Swing
  6. EyeDrops.com forwards to Restasis.com, prescription eye drops
  7. Open.com loads American Express
  8. Pens.com is the site for National Pen
  9. Paints.com is CI Coatings website
  10. Airplanes.com is used by The Airplanes Channel
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How To Be a Better Domainer

If you’re somewhat new to the industry, you may find it difficult to be profitable because it’s not necessarily easy to recognize the value of any given domain.  Even if you’re experienced, you may have this concern as well.  Maybe you’re looking to buy a name on the aftermarket and it seems like a good deal, but when you look to flip it, you can’t find anyone interested.  Perhaps you’ve gone after a name on the drop and after a short bidding war, you win the domain.  But again, now there seems to be no interest in the name from anywhere.  One suggestion I have is to focus on a niche.

Focus on a Niche

Domaining is similar to many other professions in that there are many directions you can go.  Doctors can be podiatrists focusing on the feet or cardiologist focusing on the heart.There are any number of directions a doctor can focus his training and career.  So too can a domainer.  Let’s look at just a few of the domain bloggers and their specialties:

Two Benefit

1.   You will learn your domain specialty better than most.
Focusing on a specific area will make you knowledgeable in that area, dare I say, even an expert.  You’ll be more in tune to which names are becoming available and how names in that area have sold in the past.  You might develop other contacts with domainers in that niche as well.  You’ll learn how the search engines treat this type of domain/tld.  Most importantly, you’ll learn from your experience in this niche which will put you at an advantage over domainers who spread themselves thinly across every possible domain category in existence.

2.  You will learn your buyer better than most.
Having your focus in a niche area, chances are you will gain a better understanding of the buyers of this type of domain.  There may be certain characteristics that they look for and other traits they avoid.  There may be a specific pool of buyers and you’ll develop a network with them and be established as a credible domainer.

Specializing in a niche area does not mean you can’t or shouldn’t invest and explore outside that niche.  Having an area of focus will help you learn more, faster and have greater success.  Branching out in the other areas can help broaden your business scope, but better to start with a centered approach and slowly expand and build upon your successes.

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I Fired Someone and It Felt Good!

I’m not a jerk.  At least I don’t think so.  I’ve been doing web design as a part-time business for years.  As I’ve moved into the domaining space, I’ve decided to focus on only my existing clients and not pursue new ones.  There are many reasons for this, but one of them is the headache that comes along with some of the clients I’ve worked with in the past.  I say “some” because most people are great to work with.  But it’s those few that just make life so miserable that, if I could go back in time, I would  rather drive a dinner fork through may hand than to take on these people as clients.

Several weeks ago, I made some updates for one of these difficult clients and had been waiting for payment.  In a conversation a few days back, he wanted some new, unrelated changes.  I won’t go into the details, but lets just say that his perception is that I should work for free, my time has no value, and name calling is a negotiation tool.   When the conversation turned in this direction, I politely told him to keep the money he owed me and I would no longer be working with him.  End of conversation.  I fired him as a client!

It felt great!  In fact, he contacted me several times via phone, email, and chat after that, telling me I couldn’t leave him hanging in that position.  Really?

I’ve found that the difficult ones typically generate the least income and the most aggravation while taking up most of my time.  The reality is that, in any business where you provide a product or service, it’s a mutual exchange.  You are exchanging value in the form of a product or service to the customer who is providing value in the form of payment.  Why focus on anything else?

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