Apr 192011
 

Yesterday I wrote a post about my parked domain at SmartName – CircusNuts.com. I wrote the post at about 11:30 AM and when I noticed an email written at 11:40 AM (or right around there) about that same exact domain! I was simply stunned and thought it was some sort of joke – but it was not. You can read the original post HERE

I got an email from someone who is seriously interested in the domain. I have NEVER gotten a domain inquiry within 15 minutes ever! This just goes to show you that with the right marketing and proper exposure anyone can make a domain sale. The potential buyer and I are currently undergoing negotiations for the domain. The domain is priced right and should be an easy sale but only time will tell.

Apr 182011
 

I have been parking my domains with SmartName for about 5 months. I had some customer service problems initially, but those were taken care of and they offer a good parking service with a decent payout – when compared to other parking services.

I also enjoy being able to customize my parked domain which has led to a top 5 spot on google for some of parked domains. One of my domains – Circus Nuts is currently parked at smartname. I initially bought this domain from goddady as an expired domain. My goal is to create a funny/stupid video site but I don’t have the time at the moment (but liked the domain) so I bought it and parked it.

Trying to optimize parking would not be easy since the domain name does not relate to stupid videos at all. I decided to use a theme that smartname offered. They have hundreds of different themes to choose from – more than any I have ever seen when it comes to parking domains.

I chose the “circus” theme since it fits the name extremely well. I did not add any keywords, I let smartname optimize them and I was surprised when I seen the results.

circusnuts 1024x558 Funny SmartName Parked Domain

Yes that’s right! GAY BAR! It made me laugh and I thought it was quite amusing. This changed my perception on this domain completely. Instead of trying to make another stupid video site – there are thousands of them already – I should take this as a message from SmartName and optimize the whole “gay bar” thing. This would be an awesome name for a bar or even an online dating site strictly focused on the “nuts” part. So thank you smartname for changing my outlook on this domain name. Now lets hope clicking on that result wont yield any negative results, for the children’s sake.

Apr 132011
 

Not everyone can say that they sold SEX.COM for $13 million or even come close to saying that they TURNED DOWN $500,000 in potential domain sales before lunchtime. Most of us will never be able to flip a $10 domain for anything remotely close to $xx,xxx – but one thing that every domain investor can do is price their domains realistically and properly promote. Pretty optimistic intro, wouldn’t you say?

The years of hand registering a domain and selling it for hundreds is long gone if you are just getting into the domaining world today. This was possibly 10 or 15 years ago. Today domain sales have reached an all time high and many people make domain investing their careers. One thing that every investor wants is a ROI – return on investment. There are those that succeed and those that die trying. So what is the key to success? Finding good domain names (obvious) and pricing them accordingly.

Beat Domain Trends

There is no easy answer or secret forumla for selling domain names – there is also no specific price guide one can use when listing a domain for sale simply because no 2 domains are unique. So what can you use? Most people hate using estibot and valuate and say that a website is only worth 1/10 of what estibot says. Other people try to spot historical sales data to price domains, or even trends. Registering a domain BEFORE it becomes a trend is where you make your money.

If a hot trend comes out, and you dont have a related domain, then you can kiss that goodbye. The key is to find a trend before it’s hot. For example – some current trends are 3D, tablets, cloud servers, and online coupons. Just about everyone has at least 1 domain that falls into 1 of these “trends” – especially 3D. Most people keep these domains and hope to strike it rich. If someone registered 3dtv 15 years ago (before it was hot) and decided to sell it now, he would be getting a very nice amount. Now say someone wanted to jump on this trend and bought 3dPaperclip, then I’d probably tell that person to quickly get out of domaining.

Pricing Domains

Once you establish a decent portfolio, the next thing to do is promote the domain and hopefully make a sale. BEFORE you do that, you need to establish a price. This is very tricky and can be time consuming. No 2 domains are the same – every single domain in the world is unique. Let’s use “car” as an example. Car.com is NOT the same as car.net. Car.com is NOT the same as Cars.com – so how do you establish a price? You guess – yes, you guess or make one up. Personally If i owned cars.com – I would look at any and all sales related to cars. If someone sold carparts.com for $30,000 then I would obviously ask for much more.

You need to look at the domains you have, how many words/characters then find a starting point. Say I owned carpartsforsale.com. I would check sales for 3 worded and 4 worded car domains and estimate an asking price.

I know MANY domain investors who do NOT follow any type of a pricing method. They simply buy a 2 or 3 worded domain, park it at sedo, godaddy marketplace, or anything similar and ask an absurd amount of money. When I ask them why, they say “because I know this will sell for $xxxx” or whatever the amount they are asking – guess how many domains they have sold? yeah – ZERO. So if you want to actually sell domains, price them right!

Market Your Domains

Every domain investor knows about namepros, digitalpoint, warriorforum, and the many other forums out there. Do you REALLY think you can sell your domain for thousands of dollars on a forum? If you want to make money and have a good domain you will need to do work. End of Story. Get off your ass and start sending out emails. Make them professional and SELL your domain. You want to capture the reader within 1 minute of reading your email. Make them want it. Tell them stats, what benefit it can have for their company, and tell them why they want it. Also, make sure to add any additional emails as BCC – Blind Carbon Copy – the last thing anyone wants to see is 200 other people that you sent the SAME EMAIL TO!

I usually send out 30-50 emails per domain that I want to sell. Expect people to say NO (or worse) and expect a low response rate. However, there will be a day when someone will like what you are selling and a deal will be made. I am currently working on a deal with an end user for one of my domains. Be patient and you will find someone.

Mar 102011
 

Domaining is a niche that just about everyone wants a piece of. I mean come on, who in their right mind does not like the idea of making money from a website, blog, or even a domain name. Everyone loves this idea but it is much easier said that done. Being a successful domain investor takes years of practice and making mistakes before you can truly master the art of domaining.

Blogging fits perfectly into the domaining world. If you are making money online then why not write about it? However as with every single niche there are people who post information and those who simply repost just to get attention. Go to any blog and look at the blogroll, or link section. Some blogs will have 20 or more links that point to another domain blog – is this overkill?

When someone says “search engine” I immediately think of google – then after thinking a bit more yahoo and bing would be the next obvious reason. What about “domain blog?” What is the first thing that pops into your head? Well that’s a tough one simply because every domain blog has something different to offer. No one has a “perfect” domain blog – but then again what is a perfect domain blog? Is it one that provides a service, say a dropping domain list, one that tells you how to make money, or one that keeps you up to date with all the latest and greatest domain information? Every person would yield a different answer. So how do you define the best domain blog? Well you cant, but one thing you can ask yourself is are there too many domain blogs?

According to GAKT , there are 12,100 global monthly searches for the broad phrase “domain blog” with moderate competition. If you google Domain Blog the first result takes you to a blogger blog called domain blog that has not been updated since November, 2010. The second result is a google question about domain blogs and it is not until the third result that we see an acutal domain blog – and that is Elliots Blog followed by Ricks Blog. Are these 2 blogs the best? They certainly are good but I cant say if they are the best. They do have the best SEO optimization since they are ranked so well on google.

Finding the best domain is not an easy task. Personally I feel that Domaining

is one of the best domain sites out there today. The idea is purely genius and works well. Imagine going to an airport, looking at the destination screen, pick one place and go there. That is what this site is. It is a hub that has access to each and every domain blog. The owner is also a marketing guru. If you want to be featured on domaining, you pay a one time fee and then any post you create will be submitted to the site and viewed by thousands, if not more, daily. Instead of remembering 20 different domain blogs or having them all added to your favorites, you simply pick and choose any post that interests you on domaining.

What about the blogs who cant afford domaining’s cost? (such as this one) What are we supposed to do? Well that’s where it gets trickier. Unless you have a blog that provides unique content you might not have much luck. Even with unique content there is still a mountain to climb. Without the proper marketing, linkbuilding, and even being visible on google you are SOL. There could be hundreds of domain blogs that will never be discovered due to low google search results or improper seo building. But it is what it is. Finally, I want to state that I do feel that there are too many domain blogs. There are many times in a week that I will read the same exact post 4 different times of 4 different blogs. However anytime there is someone making money and writing about it, people will listen and the traffic will flow.

Mar 082011
 

One thing that everyone has in common is making money. There is nothing better and more rewarding than making money from an item – whether it is a collectible, providing a service, or domains. Everyone loves to buy low and sell high.

Lately I have been buying and selling domains which has been somewhat hard to keep track of. However one thing that I ALWAYS make sure to do is verify nameservers. As soon as I purchase a domain, I immediately go into the domain manager and change the nameservers. If you buy a domain and dont change the nameservers for a domain that is parked, you might be losing out on money – and no one likes that. For example, say I bought the domain zoop from someone else. I paid for the domain, had it transferred to my name and account, and it is now sitting in my godaddy account since I have no plans to develop it yet. I leave everything as is – BIG MISTAKE!

Well little did you know, that the person who I bought it from had it parked with google (or somewhere else) and had the nameservers pointing to a parked page. Now everytime someone types in the domain, they will be taken to the parked page and IF they click on an ad, then the OTHER person will get the money from the click! The click might only be worth a few pennies but still, money is money. You also dont want potential traffic to be directed to someone elses pocket!I have had this situation just happen to me recently. I sold a domain and the person still did not change the nameservers and I made a few cents from a click.

If you are going to buy a domain, then make sure to immediately change the nameservers. If you dont have plans on developing the domain then make sure to park it somewhere. Personally, I use SmartName, Sedo, and google to park my domains. The LAST thing you want to do is nothing – if you leave the nameservers as is then you will be losing money. Also, make sure to NEVER leave your domains parked at the registrars default page for the same reason. There are MANY places that allow you to park domains for free!

Mar 072011
 

Expiring Domains

Everyone has domains in their portfolio that they do not plan on renewing. Some people have only a few expiring domains while other can have hundreds of thousands of domains that will simply drop. Everyday there are about 50,000+ domains that expire and are available to be hand registered. Everyone has his own reason for registering a domain – most people buy domain names to do a quick flip – but it does not work – and the person doesn’t feel like spending $x or $xx on renewal fees so he simply does nothing and the domain drops. BIG MISTAKE.

If you have domains that are expiring and you DON’T want to renew them, then why not try to sell them? Why not try to get a few bucks for the domain instead of getting NOTHING? Last year I registered some domains that I planned on developing but never got around to it. After considering the options, I have decided not to renew a few domains. Instead of trying to make a profit on the domains (which I know will not happen right now) I have decided to try selling the domains to at least cover my reg fee. Not wanting to lose 100% of my initial investment, I decided to sell the domains to the highest bidder.

Today there are numerous forums and places that make it extremely easy for anyone to sell their domains quickly and for FREE. If you have domains that are expiring soon, meaning 6 months or less, then I suggest you try selling them for a reasonable price at any of the following places:

I can recommend any of the above places for you to sell your expiring domain names for free. Also, when trying to sell expiring domains, I use the following as a method for pricing. If the domains expires in:

    more than 6 months – $20+
    3-5 months – $10-20
    1 to 3 months – start an auction for $1 and sell to highest bidder

If the domain does not sell, then readjust the price and always make sure to bump up your post to the top in any sale forums. Just read the rules about bumping your post to the top. I currently have a few domains that are expiring soon. If a domain has 1 to 3 months left to expire, I send them to ebay for a 7 day auction. I like to include multiple domains and start the auction at .99. This has been successful and has allowed me to make some money from my expiring domains, instead of simply letting them drop which would give me no money at all.
So instead of doing nothing and letting your domains drop, take some time and market your expiring domains. Its much better to sell a domain for $2 than to lose $10.

Feb 072011
 

comluv2 300x121 Andy Bailey Creator Of ComLuv

There are thousands of different plugins available for any wordpress user. However there are a few plugins that are an ABSOLUTE MUST – and ComLuv is a MUST for any blogger. I have had the opportunity to interview Andy Bailey who is the creator of ComLuv.

    You are the creator of comluv, which is the best wordpress plugin I have ever used! To those who are unfamiliar, can you explain what comluv is and how it works?
    CommentLuv is a blog plugin that helps to encourage more comments from your visitors, increases traffic to your site and helps you to build a community. It does this by visiting the site of the person who is commenting on one of your articles and fetches their latest blog posts, when they submit their comment a titled link gets automatically added to the end of the comment for all to see.
    When the commentator sees that a titled link to their latest blog post is added to their comment, they are more likely to come back and comment again. That brings you more traffic and comments!
    By scanning the links on the comments of your site, you can immediately see what your community are writing about and a simple click will take you right to their article enabling you to return the comment. That helps you build a community, even more so if they have CommentLuv installed also.

     
     

    How did you come up with this idea and name “comluv.” When did you start developing it? Did you do all the programming?

    ComLuv is a contraction of CommentLuv , I came up with it because the first versions of CommentLuv used to use CommentLuv.com domain as the hub for the communications that fetch and send the last blog posts, after a while I did a rewrite of the plugin and upgraded the site to allow blogs to be created. I used ComLuv.com to do that because it was a shorter domain name. I may go back to using commentluv.com if I do a premium version.
    I have done all the programming for CommentLuv and the site/API, Hesham from famousbloggers.net helped with some css to make the info panel look really cool on the last major update which helped a lot because I’m not so great with designing pretty things (unless you speak code)
     
     

    Did you hand register the domain comluv.com? If not, where did you get it from? Do you own any other domains or you buy/sell domains?
     
    It was registered at the same place I always register my domains, I find it helps to have my domains registered separately to my hosting.
    I own quite a few domains but I don’t do anything other than make cool things with them, I have never sold one.
     

    What’s been the hardest part about getting comluv off the ground? Or did it immediately become popular? How did you get to this point in time – with the 30,000+ members and being a pagerank 6 website – has it been a struggle? That is a pretty amazing achievement. Have you been recognized anywhere or by anyone for all your hard work?
    I never intended for CommentLuv to get so big, it was supposed to be a simple plugin! I made it for my personal blog mainly to reward my commentators and because I was too lazy to maintain a blogroll! Someone liked it and asked for a copy so I sent it to them, then their friends asked for a copy and so on and so on. Before long there were tens of thousands of registered users, over 100,000 blogs that had installed it and my server was getting hit over 10,000,000 times a month for last blog post requests.
    The biggest struggle was keeping the server running with all those requests coming in. Also, trying to keep up with the changes to WordPress and keeping a hold on the features requested for the site and plugin. The hardest part was doing all that AND working full time in my family business (Chinese takeaway in Lancaster, UK)
    CommentLuv won the peoples choice awards in the WPMU.org contest in 2009.

     
     

    Comluv is free and you worked on it (for free as well) so what is your benefit? Why did you decide to make comluv free? You could easily charge people a one time fee. Have you gotten any donations from comluv users for all the work and time you put in?
    I made it for free because it started off as a simple script, I couldn’t charge anything for it because it was just a bit of fun. I get donations now and then, nothing that would cause me to consider giving up my job though! icon smile Andy Bailey Creator Of ComLuv
     
     
     

    What are some new things comluv users should look forward to in 2011? Do you have any new developing plugins or tools? Can you give us an insight?


    I have some super plans for 2011! I am going to be working with Hesham of Famousbloggers.net to help bring some of his creations into full WordPress plugins which may or may not be sold, we haven’t decided yet and, I have some awesome plans for a CommentLuv 3.0 plugin that will be released as a Freemium plugin. There’s an awful lot that can be done with CommentLuv and I have been thinking about what can be added to it for years and I think 2011 is the year that I will see CommentLuv go to the next level.
     

    How can someone with a blog -like myself – increase exposure to my site? What type of advertising do you offer? What has been the general reaction to advertising? Do people like it? Are they return customers?
    There are a few free options to help your site get noticed, the first is to make sure your site is registered with a site name, keywords, description and category. If you have the CommentLuv plugin installed on your own site then having those things will mean you can appear (at first) on the new CommentLuv sites list and if you have a popular post or you comment a lot, you can get listed on the top lists on the front page which gets refreshed every day.
    If you purchase Comluv credits in the dashboard of the site, you can purchase a featured site spot on the front page which will show you site name, description, your avatar and your five keywords. All the links will be dofollow. You can get multiple PR6 dofollow links for as little as 2$ per day doing that.
    There are also dofollow text links on the front page and sitewide which are very popular, most of the advertisers who have bought links there subscribe every month.
    There is currently a 40% off coupon that can be used until 16th Feb for the few remaining links available, use comluv-ad-offer at the checkout to take advantage of it.
     
     

    Take us into your daily routine! What’s an average day for Andy Bailey?
     

    Every day is the same!
    I wake up and go to the pc to check on the state of the server, then answer emails, there are ALWAYS emails that need answering! Then I check my earnings for the previous day on adsense, affiliate commissions and also check the traffic to my other sites and projects. I then take a shower, have breakfast and make a coffee for me and my partner and spend a few quality minutes starting the day with her. (it’ll be the last she sees of me until the afternoon!)
    Then it’s back to the PC! I will procrastinate for a bit reading CommentLuv users posts until I can convince myself it’s time to start working on whatever project is priority for that day. Currently, it’s an ePoS system for our family business. It’s a system to replace the current ancient software we’re using, it’ll handle the delivery, shop and pickup orders using a custom caller id app I wrote (had to learn c# to do make that!). It integrates with Google maps and streetview so drivers know what the house looks like before they get there and communicates with a custom android (or windows mobile) app so it can send the customer a text message when their order is on the way.
    It also has to print the order out to the kitchen on a bilingual receipt so the kitchen staff can understand it. It’s been what I’ve been coding every day since December 1st, I’m hoping to have it finished sometime this month (February)
    Then I have lunch which is usually a soup because it’s easy to cook and means I don’t have to go too far away from the PC.
    After lunch, I try to get dressed! hehe, the advantage of working at home and for yourself is that you don’t need to even get out of your dressing gown to go to work!
    I get dressed and it’s back to the pc to juggle the project and maintenance of Comluv which involves answering support tickets, editing and approving guest blogger posts, checking the sites databases (there’s 256 of them!). Sometimes I have time to research things for future projects and if I’m lucky, there’s time to visit my favourite blogs to read up on how they’re doing but mostly, I tap away at the keyboard on the current project.
    By the time it hits 4pm, I usually have a red patch on my wrist from the mouse and keyboard rest and hurray! it’s time to go to work! haha, I go downstairs to the shop and prepare it for opening (my partner and family have been there since 12pm preparing the food but graciously let me off from doing that coz I hate it!). I get the shop front ready, cash up the register, start the computers and flip the sign from ‘closed’ to ‘open’.
    It’s around this time that I get a chance to eat, always the same thing. A chicken baguette with lettuce and dressing. Sometimes if I’ve feeling adventurous, I’ll have mixed vegetables in garlic with rice. (Working in a Chinese takeaway with such tasty food available all the time and spending most of the day sat down has real potential to make you a fat boy! I started down that road so I had to stop eating our own food and switch to bread and chicken and serve people while I was standing, luckily it worked!)
    Work goes on until 10.30pm where I cash up, tidy up and head back upstairs to watch an episode of something. I tend to download (sorry, PURCHASE a dvd set) of an entire series of something and then watch every episode, one each night after work. It’s the only real time I get to watch TV (well, one that isn’t showing code) and it gives me and the missus some time to spend together where we’re both not working.
    Then it’s shower time again and then bed.. tick tock, next day, start again.


    Do you have any hobbies or possibly collect something? What’s the “nerdiest” thing about you – this could really be anything. What’s something you are extremely particular AKA anal with – haha

    My hobby is coding, it’s all I think, speak and dream about. I’d love to make a few million dollars just so I wouldn’t have to worry about work and take the time to learn some other programming languages properly, like, from the beginning instead of just learning what I need to do the task at hand. what could be nerdier? icon smile Andy Bailey Creator Of ComLuv add a bit of sci-fi and you have a complete nerd cake.

 
 

Andy – this is all I can think of at the moment – if there is ANYTHING you want to add – feel free. I really appreciate it and cant wait to hear back from you!
wow, I did go on a bit. I can tell that I’m at some particularly difficult bit of code in my project if I’m willing to procrastinate so much that I could answer all the questions in one sitting! haha, back to work!!

Andy – Once again THANK YOU! I wish you the best of luck in 2011 and cannot wait to see ComLuv become the most downloaded plugin!!!