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Interview with Andrei Polgar from DomainingServers.com
Today’s interview is with Andrei Polgar from DomainingServers.com and you may also know Andrei from his popular blog DomainingTips.com, DomainingServers.com is currently donating all revenue raised to Kiva.org until the end of Dec 12 so if you are looking for hosting provider and want to give a little back then you should read this interview and find out more about DomainingServers.com and what they are doing with Kiva.org.
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Q1) How long have you been in the domain space and why and when did you start your blog?
I’ve been around for a while but wasn’t all that “vocal” before buying the blog. I bought the blog a little over three years ago, I took over on the 22nd of October 2009. The original owner (a great guy btw) started blogging back in January 2008.
Q2) What are your current thoughts on the domain aftermarket in regards to your own personal sales and feelings and how do you think the industry is doing overall?
First of all, I’d say it’s important to define two dimensions: the reseller market and the end user market.
I’d say the end user market is chugging along but the reseller market is and always has been more volatile.
Domains are basically what people call “risk assets” in the investment world, so whenever there are powerful external or internal events, there will be consequences. The worldwide economic crisis is obviously a powerful external event and the parking revenue decline is a powerful internal event. Corroborated, these two have definitely had a negative “risk off” effect on the reseller market and those who want to move inventory have to adapt.
It’s a buyer’s market for sure.
If you want to make money on the reseller market, you have to stop living in the past and adjust your strategy to the current market conditions.
Q3) What are your thoughts on gTlds?
In my opinion, they’ll create quite a bit of confusion.
Ask 5 or 10 people who don’t earn a living online to tell you which extensions they know of.
They’ll say dot com because most of the websites they use on a daily basis are dot coms, they’ll say dot net because their ISP (comcast, for example) uses this extension and they’ll say dot org because lots of organizations which receive exposure through traditional media as well as the Internet use this extension.
If you’re not from the US, they will also tell you about their local ccTLD. So .de if they’re from Germany and so on.
Aside from these 4 (com/net/org + their ccTLD), I’m pretty sure most if not all of them will be completely clueless.
After several years, the average Joe still doesn’t know about most extensions out there.
You can only imagine how confused these people will be after lots and lots of new TLDs start appearing.
As time passes, they will accept the fact that there are many extensions out there but they won’t know about *most* of them. It’s all about money. If sites which use the extension let’s say .gtld appear on TV/on the radio/etc. over and over and over again then sure, the extension in question will gradually become more popular. But in most cases, exposure of that magnitude will just not be there. So all in all, I’d say it will be VERY difficult for new gTLDs to become popular.
As far as domainers are concerned, it will depend on the marketing strategy of each registry.
The dot co maketing strategy generated very good results, so the companies which want to target domainers should definitely analyze the dot co case study.
A final word of advice for new gTLD companies (inspired by Elliot from ElliotsBlog.com): if you want your gTLD to become successful, advertise on DomainingTips.com.
Q4) What are your thoughts on Domain Development vs Domain Parking and what are you currently doing?
I believe in meaningful development.
Meaningful as in not minisites.
On DomainingTips.com, I explained over and over again that mass development is not a viable business model.
My opinion hasn’t changed.
Develop your best domains or those related to things you’re passionate about, park the rest of them.
I’ll launch a new business in 2013 which will help people do just that.
Q5) You have set up and operate a hosting company called DomainingServers.com, Can you tell us more about this service?
I’m an entrepreneur as well as a domainer, so I immediately identified an untapped niche.
There are lots of hosting companies around but none of them specialize in providing services to domainers.
DomainingServers.com is a hosting company founded by domainers, for domainers.
Domain investors have very specific needs, let me give you just one example: they own considerably more domains than other types of clients.
For that reason, letting them use their account to host unlimited domains is a must.
At $0.98/month (less than a buck), they can literally host unlimited domains.
Even more so, I’m offering a lifetime money back guarantee.
Everyone knows me, everyone knows I’ll do my best to make customers happy.
But to take it one step further, I want to make something perfectly clear: I’m in it for the long haul and if you’re not satisfied, I don’t want your money.
Q6) How many domainers do you have using the service and do you only cater to the domaining market?
To use reseller market terminology, we currently have a 3 figure number of customers and hope to reach the 4 figure threshold over the next 2-3 years.
Q7) Until the end of this year you are donating 100% of all revenue raised via DomainingServers.com to the charity Kiva– Can you tell us more about this?
The economy isn’t doing well.
Businesses are going bankrupt left and right, lots of negative news this year.
But understanding how things are in Africa can give you a new perspective.
Here we are complaining that the price of gas is going up and while we’re doing this, children are dying in Africa because people cannot afford a vaccine which costs less than we spend on the gas it takes to drive to the nearby supermarket.
I come from Eastern Europe and let me tell you one thing, back when I was a child, we didn’t have many of the things people in the civilized world take for granted.
But I did have everything I needed to become the person I am today: food, water, shelter and an Internet connection.
I had the things I needed to compete.
I did just that, took it one project at a time, one business at a time, one investment at a time and became the person I am today.
That’s what I want to see happening in Africa as well.
I want people to be able to compete with me.
I want them to have food, water, shelter and an Internet connection.
All people need is the opportunity to compete and in my opinion, it’s an opportunity everyone deserves.
That’s why I love Kiva.
Through Kiva, you’re helping businesses in Africa and other places (I personally only fund third world causes) grow their business as well as the local community.
You give them interest free loans, they pay you back and you can use the money to help other people.
Rinse and repeat.
By helping these people, you’re also helping the local community and it all adds up.
Our generation has a moral obligation to give everyone the opportunity to compete and it’s a moral obligation I have no intention of hiding from.
Until the end of 2012, all of the revenue generated from new DomainingServers.com shared hosting customers will be donated via Kiva.
I won’t keep one cent.
So all in all, people can host unlimited domains at less than a buck per month ($0.98/month) with a lifetime money back guarantee and help those less fortunate while they’re at it. To take advantage of this offer, click on the link below:
Q8) Why have you chosen Kiva and why should domainers switch their hosting to DomainingServers.com
What I like about Kiva is the fact that you’re giving people the opportunity to compete.
Through each loan, you’re helping the local community as well, you aren’t just helping one business.
Then, the person you helped pays you back (of course, without interest since Kiva is not a non-profit organization) and you can use the money to help someone else.
As mentioned previously, rinse and repeat.
You guys are smart, so I’m sure it’s easy to imagine how huge the impact can be if lots of people use their money to help people in Africa build businesses over and over again. That’s the beauty of it. You help someone, he or she pays you back. Then you use that money to help another person and so on: the long-term positive effect can be unprecedented.
Q9) What is your favorite domain name personally / company owned?
I specialize in buying and selling on the reseller market, so my favorite domain is always the one I just bought 🙂
Q10) What does 2013 hold for you and your companies?
2013 won’t be an easy year for the worldwide economy but those of us who are adaptable can and will make things happen.
I’ll be launching a new business in early 2013 (the one I mentioned in my answer to question #4, a development business which will cater to the needs of people who believe in meaningful development with long-term potential) and, as usual, will be very active on the reseller market.
I don’t know what will happen to the world’s economy in 2013, what I do know is that I’ll be right here making money by providing value, innovating and adapting whenever necessary.
There are lots of things you can’t control, that’s just the way it is. Focus on the things you have control over and I’m sure 2013 can end up being an excellent year for you!