Domain Articles

In depth articles on domains, the domain industry and how investors can get the most from their assets.

Recent blog posts
Saturday Musings – You’re not going to believe what happened…

Just over a week ago I’d published an article, went to bed and enjoyed the peace that only comes when everything seems to be good. The next morning I awoke to discover that two things had happened in a perfect storm.

The first was that my personal server had been hacked and with laser precision all of my websites, backups, configuration files and system had been eradicated. Trust me when I say that I had a LOT of protections in place but seriously, this was like a guided missile.

Escrow

The second thing that happened was that the primary hard drive in my server began to fail. I say began to because sometimes it was there and sometimes it wasn’t. I have a second physical hard disk in my server that I keep all my backups on and that was working just fine except this was hit by the hackers.

Some people have asked me about offsite backups and I answer this in two ways. It’s a personal server….and have you ever had to restore a 500 Gig backup over the wire from your home? It will take about 3 weeks just to transmit the data. Needless to say, I’m exploring “other options”.

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Tagged in: whizzbangsblog
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Emil
    Emil says #
    Hi Michael, I hope you catch up soon. Cheers, Emil
  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    I imagine that you're feeling my pain Joe.....it's never a good thing to have happen.
  • Patricia Kaehler
    Patricia Kaehler says #
    Suggestion... Each time you write an article -- eMail it to yourself on an outside eMail service such as Yahoo.com that way even
  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    Hi Patricia, As well as having an offline copy of my articles I'm also doing exactly what you suggested. Great minds must think al
  • Felipe B
    Felipe B says #
    I enjoy reading your site. It'd be a lie to say I do it daily, but I often go there and visit. I am sorry to read about this cri
  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    Hi Filipe, Completely agree with you about your comments on PHP. That's why we use Java in ParkLogic for about 99% of the coding.
Why I'm not buying into the new gTLDs

With the all-pervasive hysteria about the new gTLDs I feel like I’m going a bit against the flow. So why aren’t I getting into a buying frenzy and forking out wads of cash?

In a previous blog I talked about having a business model for each domain name that I own, the problem is I can’t see a business model with the new gTLDs.

Let’s just think about it for a second; they won’t have any traffic, with the glut of opportunities available they won’t really be that sellable and I don’t need another domain to build into business (I’ve got enough to last a lifetime!). Hmmm…..so what is the business model? How am I going to get my return on my investment? I’m not…plain and simple.

On top of there not being a business model I find that it’s also all about focus. Since 2014 started ParkLogic is has been going through a massive growth spurt and we’re in the middle of a major developmental project. We hope to have this ready for release at DomainFest at the end of March. I don’t want to lose my focus from ParkLogic on something that is more of a gamble playing the lottery.

So when you place your hard earned cash on the table ask yourself two simple questions:
1.    What is my return on my investment?
2.    When will this happen?

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Tagged in: domains gTLDs
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Posted by on in Traffic Monetisation
Traffic Monetisation Webinar

I’m hosting a webinar this week that discusses many of the aspects of traffic monetisation. Sounds pretty boring until I put it this way…..putting more in your pocket!

Who Should Attend?
If you’re wanting to increase the revenue from your domain name traffic then you’ve just got take the time to attend. If you’ve thought about investing further into traffic domain names then you will increase your ROI dramatically with the information that will be provided in the session.

Some of the topics that will be covered include:
1.    How to get the most from your traffic domains
2.    Should I place all my domains with a single provider?
3.    Rotating traffic versus intelligent switching
4.    How should I measure success?
5.    What’s it going to mean to my bottom line?
6.    There will also be a time for questions and answers so make sure that you have all of those really difficult ones ready.

Over the years I’ve found that many people think that they understand how to monetise their traffic but the reality is they just don’t. I’ve spent the last decade refining, research and analysing traffic and how to squeeze every last cent out of it.

It is very important that you understand that there are LIMITED placed available so after first signing up at whizzbangsblog.com (the linkedin of the domain industry) make sure that you indicate that you will be attending by clicking on the following link.

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Posted by on in Business Thoughts
What's Your Business Model?

It’s critical that every one of your domains has a business model associated with it so that you can make appropriate decisions about how to best increase their value or realise there value.

So what are the business models that I use?

Traffic domains – these domains are those that receive traffic and are monetised. The key is to extract the maximum value out of the traffic each and every day.

High Value domains – These are more often than not two letter or single word domains – for example, ab.com or vodka.com. These are the “rainbow” domains….in other words, if a large corporate decides to buy one then you’ll get the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I would highly recommend that you outsource these domains to a qualified good broker who knows how to create a market.

Stock Items – These domains are often multi-word domains and should all be priced and ready to sell at sub $1,500. You may get more…..which is great but it’s all about moving the stock. The ultimate goal here is to sell around 3% of your domains per year.

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Posted by on in Domain Industry
Donna Takes the Plunge!

Donna Mahony has made the big decision to leap into the world of blogging. For those of you that don’t know, Donna is the queen of the domain forums and has run domainboardroom.com for many, many years.

DomainBoardroom.com is a closed forum that is only accessible by applicants being approved by the entire community. It’s amazing to see competitors, domain owners and other industry professionals discussing domain topics and working together for the betterment of the industry.

I know that Donna has a huge amount of expertise in the domain industry and as she says on her very first blog…..she’s going to bring her own point of view to the articles that she writes. So get ready for some great reading!

I would like to wish Donna good luck and every success and would highly recommend that you place her blog on your watch list!

You can visit Donna’s Blog at not surprisingly donnasblog.com

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Posted by on in Personal Musings
Climbing the Ladder

Over the years (gee I’m sounding old!) I’ve spoken to many business people that have climbed to the top of the ladder of success. Not surprisingly, when you talk to them they generally fall into two groups, those that are happy and those that aren’t.

The ones that are happy seemed to have attained a balance in their lives of having time for work and time for family and friends. They still have a spring in their step and a twinkle in their eye, they’re fulfilled in their lives.

The unhappy ones may have lots of money in the bank and worldly possessions but when they look around they no longer have a great relationship with their children and true friends are not to be found. Many of them try to buy a relationship with their kids by giving them incredible gifts when all their children want is some of their time and love. When these people finally reached the top of their ladder they found that it’s leaning against the wrong wall.

Getting a life balance is so important if you actually want to be happy and fulfilled in your own life. I’ve been married for nearly 27 years and have been incredibly blessed to have an amazing wife and three wonderful children that can put up with me. I have definitely not been perfect but I’ve continually tried to make decisions that are positive for my family in everything that I do.

Some of the things that I’ve found have been useful for me is that I work really hard during the week and on the weekend it’s rare that I do anything. I have a complete break. Your body and mind need a rest, they need to recuperate and recharge but more than that your family needs you.

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The LinkedIn of the Domain Industry

This weeks video discusses what's been happening on Whizzbangsblog and the explosive growth that it's received!

Tagged in: whizzbangsblog
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Posted by on in Business Thoughts
My 10 Rules For Doing Deals

My daughter is in the process of trying to find her first car…always a great experience! She went and looked at one with a friend and instantly fell in love with it. “Dad, this is the best car in the world! I have to have it!”

I openly admit that I know nothing about cars….computers….we’ll that’s another thing. So Sarah returned to the seller’s house to place a deposit on the vehicle but this time she took a friend’s father who happens to be from the automotive industry. It took him ten seconds to glance at the car and say, “No.”

This raises the point, if you want to invest in diamonds don’t ask the butcher for advice, ask the jeweler – it’ll save you a packet! I have domain investors coming to me all the time with a wide variety of deals that they’ve been offered to ask my advice on whether it’s a good deal or not. If you’ve been in the industry as long as I have then you never get surprised by the garbage that some people try to sell at incredible prices.

My 10 rules of buying:

  1. Never buy when I feel pressured and take your time to think it over.
  2. Good assets are worth the price, you just need to find the good assets.
  3. You can ask whatever you want but I’ll pay the price that I’m offering.
  4. Telling me over and over again how good something is will not change my mind. If it’s a dog it’s a dog, if it’s not then it’s not.
  5. Fancy deals normally end in tears….keep it simple.
  6. If it looks too good then it probably is.
  7. Go for repeatable income not just look out for the big one offs.
  8. Investigate the person selling the asset as much as the deal itself. If they’re right then the majority of the time the deal will be fair.
  9. Never do transactions, do deals where everyone wins and both parties will want to do business together into the future.
  10. Get good advice and then make up your own mind.

Do you have any rules that you use in your own deals? Please add them in the comments below.

Tagged in: business deals
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Posted by on in Business Thoughts
Being An Entrepreneur

For the past 30 years I’ve been building businesses and the majority of them have been in the Internet industry. As fate would have it I was talking to a friend of mine last night on skype and he was lamenting the pain of his new startup. Investors didn’t invest what he really needed and technology wasn’t coming together fast enough. All the typical birthing pains associated with a new venture.

If you’re looking at your domains and thinking to yourself, “I really need to start developing some of these” then be ready to go through some tough times. It’s never easy doing something new and what you think is a great idea, other people will trash.

Which brings me to another point. Over the years I've found that the worst sort of people in the world are those that cheer you on no matter what. For example, my wife and I had to give our daughter a bit of tough love near the end of her final year in high school. Essentially it boiled down to, “Don’t be an idiot!”

She came back and told us we weren’t very supportive and that we needed to be more encouraging. I thought about it for a few milliseconds and replied, “People will cheer you on as you leap over the edge of a cliff, we’re not those sort of people honey.”

Now that she’s passed her exams and been accepted into university she’s told us that our advice (which was really tough) was the best advice she’s ever received.

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Tagged in: development domains
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Posted by on in Personal Musings
Stop Crying and Make Money

Sorry if this is a little bit of tough love but seriously…..it’s probably the best advice some of you could ever get.

I’m always amazed at the number of domain owners that get incredibly emotional about their domains and make economically irrational decisions. I hate to say this but domains are not your children, they don’t care if you sell them, you can monetise them anywhere and more than that they don’t care what price you sell them for.

Let’s unpack one level of thinking that is surprising……“I’m going to place all my domains with parking company X because the salesperson is my friend.”

For a start, my experience at ParkLogic has shown that no parking company wins more than 25% of the traffic at any point in time. This means that if you place ALL of your domains with a single company you are losing AT LEAST 75% of the time! This is a fact and one that has years and years of data behind it.

It’s great making friends with your account manager but I hate to burst the bubble, that person gets paid for the traffic that you bring them. The question you have to ask yourself is, “If I moved all my traffic away from them would they still want to hang out?” The last time I checked, I didn’t have to pay to have a friend so the answer should be yes.

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